After coming together to discuss engagement, dialogue and participation in recent editions of Communicating the Museum, it is now time for us to consider the museum’s personality and voice.

Cultural institutions are increasingly dynamic, inclusive and exciting actors. With the rise of social media, museums have defined unique personalities and adopted more direct voices. Recent years have seen rise to labs, takeovers and hackathons, encouraging diverse actors to bring museums to life in their own ways. How are these new voices and attitudes impacting the global conversation about cultural communication and visitor strategies? How can the museum tell great stories, inspire imagination and be fun while remaining true to its values and missions in education and conservation?

02.00 pm

Welcome to the Chicago History Museum

Russell Lewis, Executive Vice President and Chief Historian, will welcome the participants to the Chicago History Museum.  Learn more
Speakers : Russell Lewis Chicago History Museum

Dare to Be

Dare to Activate Social Change

Louise Bernard, Director of the Obama Presidential Museum, and Dr. Carol Adams from the Urban Prescriptives, Inc. will tell us how the Obama Center is building a new model, activating local audiences and social change in the fast-changing cultural landscape of the South side of Chicago.  Learn more
Speakers : Carol L. Adams Urban Prescriptives, Inc., Louise Bernard Museum of the Obama Presidential Center

Dare to re-invent the Royal Academy

Discover how the Royal Academy is using the diverse voices of its artists and architects to reposition itself in its momentous 250th anniversary year. Learn more
Speakers : Will Dallimore

Case Studies

04.00 pm

1.1 - In on the Joke: Using Comedy in an Exhibition Campaign

Learn how and why the Hammer Museum invited Will Ferrell and Joel McHale to explore and promote its exhibit "Stories of Almost Everyone".  Learn more
Speakers : Mitch Marr Hammer Museum
Case Study

1.2 - Serious fun: daring to perform in the exhibition 

Learn how to tap the potential of performance to transform the direct experience of the artwork and draw new, distinctly contemporary meanings from them Learn more
Speakers : Josephine Touma Art Gallery of New South Wales
Case Study

2.1 From a Museum to a Scientific Force (with a really nice showroom)

Discover how on the cusp of the Field Museum’s 125th anniversary, they took the history of the past to help position them as a leader in creating a better future. Learn more
Speakers : Stacy Dilling The Field Museum, Jaime McGill Leo Burnett
Case Study

2.2 - Transforming an organizational brand from the inside out

Moving the National Museum of Women in the Arts from “A museum of their own” to “Champion women through the arts.” Learn more
Speakers : James Heaton Tronvig Group, Amy Mannarino National Museum of Women in the Arts
Case Study

3.1 - Perhaps we can be fun on social media after all

Learn about how Adam used personality, creative content and the help of his colleagues to turn a single tweet into features in the national media, over 300 t-shirts sold and a global Twitter moment. Learn more
Speakers : Adam Koszary Museum of English Rural Life
Case Study

3.2 - Award-winning humor and finding your voice

Learn how pairing words with pictures and using innovative storytelling techniques can bring awareness to your brand—and reach younger audiences—via social media. Learn more
Speakers : Lucy Redoglia Consultant
Case Study

4.1 - Edu-tainment: The Night Shift Phenomena at the Royal BC Museum

Learn how breaking down the barriers between the “evil” marketing team and the “altruistic” learning teams can lead to outrageously fun and financially successful edu‑taining events. Learn more
Speakers : Erika Stenson Royal British Columbia Museum
Case Study

4.2 - Just Add Fun: How to Boost Revenue & Audience Engagement

How do we bring in more funds & visitors without additional resources? For some of the Barnes' programs, exhibitions & fundraising initiatives, the answer is this: just add fun. Learn more
Speakers : Jo Tiongson-Perez The Barnes Foundation, Olivia Verdugo The Barnes Foundation
Case Study
05.00 pm

Culture, Meet Culture

Museums are cultural institutions, but, aside from the occasional black tie gala, they’re afraid to embrace culture outside their four walls. Museums shouldn’t fear culture, they should embrace it. Don’t just be a vessel of culture. Have the courage and the joie de vivre to make some. Learn more
Speakers : Pete LeFebvre Leo Burnett Group, Kelly Alesso Leo Burnett Group

Welcome Reception

07.00 pm

Welcome Reception at Chicago Scenic Studios

Find out about the Chicago Scenic Studios' latest projects and learn how Puzzle Rooms and Games are a fantastic asset to provide new experiences to your visitors.  Learn more


09.00 am

Transforming The Museum Experience

A panel of experts from Art and Science Museums will discuss the latest trends in museum experimentation.  Learn more
Speakers : Silvia Filippini Fantoni North Carolina Museum of Art, Erika Stenson Royal British Columbia Museum, Scott Tennent Hammer Museum, Mikkel Bogh Statens Museum for Kunst, Monica Eng WBEZ’s Curious City

Elevating the visitor experience

How do you find a resonant chord that appeals to the changing visitor demographics as museums are challenged to communicate to generation 'Swipe and Skim'? Learn more
Speakers : Gregory Neely Forge Media + Design, Gary Walker-Kerr Haley Sharpe Design
10.40 am

1 - Hackathon: approaching challenges from a different perspective

Learn how and why the Philadelphia Museum of Art has been hosting a Hack the Museum hackathon event for the past three years. Learn more
Speakers : Ariel Schwartz Philadelphia Museum of Art
Case Study

2 - How to use Puzzle Rooms and Adventures to attract new and larger audiences to your museum

How the Puzzle Rooms and Games phenomenon is relevant to museums. How can museums create experiences to engage audiences with the exhibit content, art and building? Learn from best practices from the experience of Chicago Scenic Studios. Learn more
Speakers : Doug Pokorny Chicago Scenic Studios, Nate Martin Puzzle Break, Gerry Hariton Designduo, Vicki Baral Designduo, Alison Frazier Royal Caribbean New Builds and Innovation
Case Study

3 - Be realistic, demand the impossible! Bringing the American Summer House to the heart of Paris

Find out how the “Summer House” initiative overturned the Mona Bismarck American Center's programming and communication practices. Learn more
Speakers : Fleur d'Aboville Mona Bismarck American Center
Case Study

4 - Can you make your museum fun when you are not the boss?

Silvia will provide examples of experiences she developed to engage a young and more diverse audience, discuss their impact on the audience and on the institution and reflect upon the challenges and obstacles encountered. Learn more
Speakers : Silvia Filippini Fantoni North Carolina Museum of Art
Case Study
11.45 am

Do it for the Children

Find out how The Chrysler Museum of Art and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) have created new family friendly spaces rooted in new experiences. Learn more
Speakers : Anne Corso Chrysler Museum of Art, Cathy Crane Frankel National Building Museum, Bruce Wyman USD Design | MACH Consulting, Traci Sym Plus and Greater Than


02.15 pm

Not your Grandma's tour

In this talk we’ll explore best practices for creating unique and interactive adult museum experiences that attract and engage new audiences. Learn more
Speakers : Dustin Growick , Jessica Gasbarre Memorial Art Gallery
03.20 pm

1 - Eavesdropping on History

Learn about the immersive binaural audio experience to animate visitors’ accounts of Versailles—all performed by a cast of international actors and dramatized in atmospheric 3‑D soundscapes. Learn more
Speakers : Nina Diamond The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Case Study

2 - Engaging young audiences with Snapchat

SnapGuide allows young audiences to engage with the Rijksmuseum by connecting their visual culture to the visual culture of the museum. Learn more
Speakers : Wouter van der Horst Rijksmuseum
Case Study

3 - Co-Creating the Teen Audio Experience

Find out how 15 Chicago teens created the first ever teen produced audio guide to the Art Institute, available now to teens and museum visitors of all ages. Learn more
Speakers : Maura Flood Art Institute of Chicago, Andrew Meriwether Art Institute of Chicago
Case Study

4 - Truth or Dare: difficult conversations and contemporary art

Learn about "Conversation Starters", the MCA's new annual program that brings together audiences of all ages to take part in real‑life conversations using contemporary art as a starting point. Learn more
Speakers : Gill Nicol Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Case Study

5 - Let’s Get Serious about Play: Creating Resilience

During this session you will discover how you can personally nurture these qualities in yourself and in your team. Learn how to do this through strong principles and structures and with essential information at your fingertips. Learn more
Speakers : Erin Koppel Tessitura Network
04.30 pm

Building a people- and artifact-friendly museum

Shirin Frangoul-Brückner will present the Grand Egyptian Museum project alongside the museum director, Tarek Tawfik.  Learn more
Speakers : Shirin Frangoul-Brueckner Atelier Brückner

IDCA Awards Ceremony

Clémence Ferry and Maddi Newling, project managers of the International Design and Communications Awards, will present the winners of the 2018 edition of the awards. Learn more
Speakers : Clémence Ferry Communicating the Arts, Maddi Newling Communicating the Arts, Culture Business, Grands Prix

Gala Reception

07.00 pm

A Gala Evening 1000 feet in the air

Enjoy the CTMCHI Gala Reception at 360 CHICAGO with the best views of Chicago's Skyline and Lake Michigan Learn more
09.00 am

Welcome to the Art Institute of Chicago

James Rondeau, President and Eloise W. Martin Director will welcome you to the Art Institute. Learn more
Speakers : James Rondeau The Art Institute of Chicago


Using Failure and Relentless Grit to your Advantage

Join Graduate Hotels founder Ben Weprin for a discussion around being an entrepreneur, and learn about the risks, failures, and successes he and his team have faced Learn more
Speakers : Ben Weprin Adventurous Journeys Capital Partners

How to bounce back from a No?

Learn about PLATEFORME 10, a new “arts district” in Lausanne. The project, when first presented in 2008, was rejected in a public referendum. Chantal Prod’Hom will share her story and tell you how they bounced back from this failure. Learn more
Speakers : Chantal Prod'hom MUDAC

In Celebration of Failure

How do you set up a culture encouraging learning instead of performance? How do you find opportunities for improvement in failure? Our panelists will answer these questions by sharing their own experience. Learn more
Speakers : James Heaton Tronvig Group, Alesha Mercado
12.00 pm

1 - Victory in Defeat: The Guggenheim Helsinki Initiative

Learn about Guggenheim Helsinki, an initiative that was not fully realized but remains a rich example of community and stakeholder engagement and communications strategy for both local and international audiences. Learn more
Speakers : Sarah Eaton Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Case Study

2 - Preparing for Tomorrow’s Crisis to Save Your Museum’s Brand

Jill and Amy will share insights into how in-house and outside PR counsel can collaborate to maximize their respective roles and help protect the reputation of the museum during crisis. Learn more
Speakers : Jill Allread Public Communications, Amy Ritter Cowen Public Communications
Case Study

Learning Safari Museum Campus South - Route 1

03.00 pm

1.1 The Renaissance Society

Discover “The Ren”, an independent, non-collecting museum driven by an uncompromising commitment to artists and their ideas. The afternoon begins with a walkthrough of a solo exhibition by Palestinian artist Shadi Habib Allah, which features newly commissioned projects alongside previous works. Learn more

1.2 Smart Museum of Art

Explore the Smart Museum, and tour The Time is Now! Art Worlds of Chicago’s South Side, 1960–1980, an exhibition that examines the cultural history of the South Side, from the Black Arts Movement to the Chicago Imagists. Learn more

1.3 Case Study: Dare to Be Small

Join the Smart Museum and the Renaissance Society for a Case Study about education and audience engagement programs that embrace smallness, offering intimate experiences and focusing on artists. Learn more
Case Study

Learning Safari Museum Campus South - Route 2

2.1 The Oriental Institute

Visit The Oriental Institute, a world-renowned showcase for the history, art, and archaeology of the ancient Near East Learn more
Speakers : Kiersten Neumann The Oriental Institute

2.2 DuSable Museum of African American History

Explore the DuSable Museum and discover the achievements, contributions and experiences of African Americans Learn more
Speakers : Bonnie DeShong DuSable Museum of African American History

2.3 Case Study : Dare to Engage

The case study will focus on this challenge and explore innovative ways to develop engaging and imaginative programs and exhibits while still communicating the core ambitions and purpose of these cultural institutions. Learn more
Speakers : Kiersten Neumann The Oriental Institute, Bonnie DeShong DuSable Museum of African American History, Erica Griffin DuSable Museum of African American History
Case Study

Learning Safari Museum Campus South - Route 3

3.1 The Museum of Science and Industry

Discover the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago—one of the largest science museums in the world. It is home to more than 400,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits designed to spark scientific inquiry and creativity. Learn more

3.2 Case Study : Dare to Stay Relevant

This case study will explore how the iconic exhibitions and examples of historic artifacts pulled from the collection can remain relevant today and continue to further the founding intent of the Museum. Learn more
Case Study


Behind the Scene Extension - A full day extension to explore the city's Cultural Offer and meet your local peers.

09.00 am

Explore the Field Museum

Learn about the Field Museum, its collection and expertise.  Learn more
Case Study

Sneak Peek of SUE the T. rex’s new home at the Field Museum

Take an exclusive look inside SUE the T. rex’s new digs in The Griffin Halls of Evolving Planet, set to open at the Field Museum in early 2019. Learn more
Speakers : Stacy Dilling The Field Museum, Jaap Hoogstraten The Field Museum
Case Study
12.00 pm

Discover the Museum of Contemporary Photography

Discover how the museum cultivates a deeper understanding of the artistic, cultural and political roles of photography in our world today. Learn more
Case Study

Having Fun with Community Engagement: Aligning Programs, Developing Audiences

Examining how the Museum developed aligned partnerships during their fall 2017 exhibition and exploring the resulting impact of taking an exhibition-driven, multi-tiered approach to community engagement. Learn more
Speakers : Marissa Fox Museum of Contemporary Photography, Brenna Quinn Museum of Contemporary Photography
Case Study
03.00 pm

Attend the Vernissage of EXPO CHICAGO

Join the opening of EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art Learn more