Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Time to Connect and Grow

Michael Dowell, Jennifer Thomas, and Bill Obrochta
enjoying time with colleagues at the
VAM Conference at The Homestead, March 2008.
Our Annual Conference is all about connecting - connecting to colleagues, prospective employers or employees, and connecting with old friends. Beyond that, it's about forging new beginnings. Last week's conference update was focused around the value of networking and staying connected with YOUR professional community. Our first FREE white paper to members focused on building your museum resume (a career-long process that cannot occur in a vacuum!) Here's a personal story of two colleagues and friends who accomplished quite a bit after reconnecting at our 2008 VAM Conference at The Homestead:

(the following is excerpted from emails from Martha Katz-Hyman, with permission)

"I am pleased to report that World of a Slave: Encyclopedia of the Material Life of Slaves in the United States, edited by Kym Rice and myself, is now available! Kym started working on this in 2007; she recruited me in 2008 at the VAM meeting at the Homestead, and it's now done!

I've actually known Kym for a long time: she was the guest curator for the Bruton Heights School exhibit on the history of African American education at Colonial Williamsburg, and I worked closely with her on that. We've stayed friends ever since.

I had no idea that she had even been asked to do the encyclopedia until she talked to me at the Homestead, told me about the project... [after some discussion we decided] that we'd do it together.

We both agree that it was the best decision we both made for the project, as we have complementary knowledge sets ... and because we know different, though intersecting, groups of scholars in the field."

VAM would like to congratulate Martha and Kym for this accomplishment! They can now sit back and relish the fruits of their labor, or perhaps they'll sign on for VAM's Conference 2011 and stir the soup a little more! (sorry folks, it's dinner time as I type). Find out more about their project in the NY Times - the antiques column features the encyclopedia!

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