The theme for the Hawaiʻi Museums Association’s (HMA) first digital conference is ACCESS. Whether in regards to making museums more welcoming to underrepresented groups or of making collections available to their source communities, issues of access continue to transform current practices. Indeed, as we have witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic, museums and related repositories have turned towards digital platforms (zoom, social media, etc.) to provide museum visitors with access to programs, exhibits, and collections. During their 2020 program series, Mākau Moʻomeheu: Cultural Competence in Hawaiʻi’s Museums, HMA invited guest speakers, comprising of museum professionals and Hawaiian knowledge holders, also expressed the importance of making their island institutions (and their profession) more accessible to Native Hawaiians and other Hawaiʻi communities.
For HMA's 2021 conference, they have invited speakers to share their experiences of addressing issues of access in their professional or community work. Questions that they encourage conference attendees to consider as they attend each panel include:
- How does access relate to diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and equity (DEAI) initiatives?
- How can Hawaiʻi’s museums better serve individuals with disabilities?
- What are some strategies and methods that museums can develop to make their online collections and programs more accessible?
- How can museum professions (grant writing, exhibition development, curation, education, etc.) become more accessible to a more diverse pool of candidates?
- Are their parts of the museum that should remain inaccessible to the general public?
The conference will be held on Zoom between Friday, April 16 – Saturday, April 17, 2021. Sessions will be recorded and made available for viewing for four weeks following the end of the conference. Real-time captioning for the panels is provided by The Caption Company, a local company serving Hawaii.
To register or learn more, visit the Hawai'i Museums Association conference web-site Access.