Using Your Mission Statement to Make Your Organization More Nimble - Day 1/Session 1 - Small Museums Virtual Summit

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Mission statements are a central part of museum governance. The thinking and reflection that go into creating them can keep museums focused, dedicated to community service, and operating within ethical guidelines. Revisiting them, on their own or as part of a planning process, can help museums adapt and stay relevant. In this panel, participants will hear from leaders of two organizations that have gone through extensive revisions of their missions and strategic plans. They will discuss when and how to adapt your mission to refocus the organization and keep it on a sustainable path forward.

Cancellation/Refunds for onsite workshops must be submitted in writing via email to or mail to 2021 21st Ave S., Suite 320 Nashville, TN 37212. Cancellations made prior to the early-bird registration deadline date will receive a full refund. Cancellations made between the early-bird deadline date and eight days prior to the workshop will be subject to a $55 processing/materials charge. No refunds will be given within seven days of the workshop date. AASLH is not responsible for cancellations that were mailed or emailed but never received.

Cancellations/Refunds for online professional development (webinars and online courses) must be submitted in writing via email to or mail to 2021 21st Ave S., Suite 320 Nashville, TN 37212. Cancellations made prior to the start date for the online course or the day of the webinar will be given a full refund. No refund will be given after the start date for the online course or on/after the day of the webinar. Registrants may transfer their registration to another person. Registrations cannot be transferred between courses or course sessions. AASLH is not responsible for cancellations that were mailed or emailed but never received.

If you have any questions, please contact AASLH Professional Development staff at or 615-320-3203.

Ann Bennett

Executive Director

Laurel Historical Society, Laurel, MD

Ann Bennett has more than 20 years’ experience working in museums, education and archaeology. Before coming to LHS, she served as the curator of the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum, as coordinator of the Hays-Heighe House at Harford Community College, and worked at PastPerfect Museum Software. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, with an MA in historical archaeology from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. She is very active in local and regional historical and cultural organizations, and is the past-president of the Archaeological Society of the Northern Chesapeake.

Rachael Mullins

Marieke Van Damme

Executive Director

History Cambridge, Cambridge, MA

Marieke Van Damme has worked in non-profits for over fifteen years, starting as an Americorps VISTA volunteer in Alaska right out of undergrad. She worked in collections management for the National Park Service in Sitka, Alaska, and in Salem, Massachusetts; managed an 18th-century historic site in Peabody, Massachusetts; and served as Deputy Director at the Bostonian Society/Old State House. She is currently the executive director for the Cambridge Historical Society in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 2014, Marieke launched Joyful Museums, a project studying workplace culture in museums, and in 2017 was a co-founder of GEMM (Gender Equity in Museum Movement). She proudly serves as a member of the New England Museum Association’s board. 

Sean Blinn (Moderator)


AASLH Small Museums Committee, Bedminster, NJ

Sean Blinn is an independent museum professional based in New Jersey, with a practice focused on government relations, evaluation, and communication (including social media). His primary background is with historic house museums, where he uses stories of the past to help visitors understand the present. He enjoys showing how life has changed over time, including the social effects of technological change. He works to ensure that voices historically left out of narratives are represented in museums’ narratives and builds partnerships with libraries and other cultural institutions. He has served as a member of local government historic preservation, cultural, and zoning commissions. Prior to joining the museum field, he worked in the corporate sector, working on projects from writing and editing to leading software testing projects.


Small Museum Virtual Summit - Day 1 - Session 1
12/05/2023 at 1:30 PM (EST)  |  Recorded On: 12/07/2023
12/05/2023 at 1:30 PM (EST)  |  Recorded On: 12/07/2023
Slides for Day 1 - Session 1
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.