2023 GAM Conference
Museums: The (Fill in the Blank) Frontier
Cartersville, Georgia 
January 18-20

The 2023 Georgia Association of Museums Annual Conference in Cartersville, Georgia is scheduled for January 18–20, 2023. More detailed information will be posted as it becomes available.

Conference sessions and workshops will be held at the:
Clarence Brown Conference Center
5450 State Route 20
Cartersville, GA 30121

Early Bird Rate (available until January 4) $200 for GAM members, $235 for non-members

Regular rate (after January 5)
$225 for GAM members, $260 for non-members

About the Conference Theme 
As Georgia museums emerge from the pandemic and return to long-range planning, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel has become more expansive. Institutions are grappling with the aftermath of dramatic shifts in programming, exhibitions, and operations. Staff, board members, and volunteers are also considering how to address a host of thorny issues – racial justice, climate change, political turmoil, the nature of democracy, and other concerns – in a time when tensions are high and work/life balance feels increasingly elusive. As we move forward, the horizons before us are full of frontiers both exciting and challenging.

The frontier is one of the most central and complicated tenets of American identity. Historian Frederick Jackson Turner believed that the frontier and (white, male) citizens’ ability to tame it was key to the United States’ spirit and success. For many others, especially Indigenous and Latine populations, the idea of the frontier, or "la frontera," evokes more complicated considerations. The museums of Cartersville, Georgia, interpret many different types of frontiers: the transformation of northwest Georgia with the simultaneous forced Removal of Cherokee peoples, settlement of Euro-American farmers, and enslavement of African Americans; scenes of American westward expansion; the transportation revolution of the automobile; and the wide-open expanses of space, the classic final frontier.

In our own way, each of us is contemplating the frontiers of our lives and profession. The 2023 GAM Conference will feature sessions and workshops that “fill in the blank” to explore many different frontiers and topics.

Keynote speaker: W. Richard West, Jr.

W. Richard West, Jr. is Founding Director and Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, where he served from 1990 to 2007. He is also President and CEO Emeritus, Ambassador, Native Communities, of the Autry Museum of the American West, which he directed from 2013 to 2021. He is a citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes and a member of the Society of Southern Cheyenne Peace Chiefs.

West has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Alliance of Museums and Vice President of the International Council of Museums. His current board affiliations include: Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums; International Coalition of Sites of Conscience; California Association of Museums; Denver Art Museum; and UCLA Institute of Environment and Sustainability. West previously served on the boards of the Ford Foundation, Stanford University, and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

West, who grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma, was born in San Bernardino, California, the son of American Indian master artist Walter Richard West Sr., and Maribelle McCrea West. He earned a bachelor’s degree in American history from the University of Redlands, a master’s degree in American history from Harvard University, and a law degree from Stanford University. West is currently consulting on a project for the Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site near Cartersville.


Georgia Association of Museums is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
P.O. Box 2133, Marietta, GA 30061

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