December 6 | 2021
SEMC Leadership Institute: Leading for Today's Challenges
April 24-29, 2022
Duke Mansion
Charlotte, North Carolina
SEMC is pleased to announce the 2022 Leadership Institute: Leading for Today's Challenges, which will be offered as an in-person program in April 2022.

The Leadership Institute, developed in partnership with the Association of African American Museums, was first offered in fall 2020. Although COVID adjustments necessitated the Institute launch as a virtual program, the experience was powerful and contained a solid curriculum taught by leaders in their fields, that covered six areas:

  • Reflecting Your Best Self
  • Building Inclusive Cultures
  • Strategic Communication and Thinking
  • Leadership Challenges
  • Adaptive Leadership
  • Creating Your Best Self as an Organization

The 2022 Leadership Insitute will once again focus on developing diverse and inclusive future museum leaders who:

  • Can identify and build on their existing personal strengths

  • Assess how to maximize these strengths internally in an organization and externally as part of a community

  • Identify methods to capitalize on their strengths and their environment to move an institution forward

The program, focused on leadership training for staff of small - and mid-sized institutions, will offer peer-to-peer learning and reflection in addition to high-quality instruction and guidance from the accomplished faculty. With a cohort of no more than 16, the Leadership Institute will offer attendees a reflective, supportive experience and provide directed opportunities to look both inward and outward, develop inclusive leadership skills, and identify each individual's best self in the process.

Who should apply?
The 2022 Leadership Institute aims to cultivate a diverse cohort of museum professionals who are at the mid-career level and beyond, looking for a program to develop skills that will assist and empower them to be inclusive, forward-thinking leaders of departments, organizations, boards as well as encourage purposeful connection and partnerships with the communities their organizations serve.

The 2022 Leadership Institute tuition is $1,500 for SEMC and AAAM members and $1,600 for non-members.

Application deadline
Applications for the 2022 Leadership Institute will be accepted through January 15, 2022. Applicants will be notified of the outcome by early February 2022.

Please reach out to Zinnia Willits, SEMC Executive Director at
SEMC2021 T-Shirts!
Looking for a one-of-a-kind memento of a unique SEMC event that required us to be nimble and ready for the unexpected?

We still have a few SEMC2021 #SubjectToChange t-shirts available!

Visit the SEMC STORE to get yours today!

All t-shirt proceeds support 2022 virtual programming costs so we can keep our offerings FREE for members!

Thank you for supporting SEMC!
Thank you to our generous t-shirt sponsor, SEMC Corporate Member, Bonsai Fine Arts!
Sticky Notes
Thank you SEMC members!

Wow, can you believe it’s December already? Many thanks for being with SEMC throughout this year! We appreciate our members and friends and always look forward to hearing your feedback on how we’re doing and new ways we can support the work you do.
I’m thrilled to share that we are working on updates to the membership page on the SEMC website! Once live, the page will be easier to navigate, showcase fun member photos and provide additional information you need to become even more engaged with SEMC and your peers around the region.
I’ll keep you posted on the page progress; keep an eye out here and on our social media sites for the big reveal!
If you’re not yet an SEMC member, let me know how I can help you get started or answer any questions you have about our program.
Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with all that we’re doing:
Instagram     semcdirect
Facebook     southeasternmuseums
Twitter          semc2

Happy Holidays!

All my best,
Carla Phillips
Membership & Communications Manager

Thank you for supporting SEMC through membership!
SEMC members visit Ruby Falls at the SEMC2021 Annual Meeting!
Save the Date for SEMC2022!
October 24 - 26, 2022, Northwest Arkansas
In 2022, SEMC Annual Meeting attendees will be able to experience FOUR vibrant cities that comprise Northwest Arkansas: Rogers, Bentonville, Fayetteville and Springdale.

Mark your calendars now and save the dates!
SEMC2022 Call for Proposals Now Open!!!
Share your Expertise at SEMC!

As you think about 2022, consider how you and your organization are EXHIBITING CHANGE!
For 2022, the SEMC Annual Meeting will return to an in-person format with onsite, socially distanced, sessions and events at the Embassy Suites Northwest Arkansas - Hotel & Convention Center in Rogers, Arkansas.

We plan to live-stream several events for all SEMC members to enjoy including the 2022 Keynote Address and the 2022 Award Recipient Roundtable (stay tuned for further details on this exciting new format!) Conference sessions will be in-person only.

SEMC will continue to develop monthly virtual programming throughout the year, free to our members, to provide professional training and networking opportunities that can be accessed live or via recordings for self-paced learning.
Virtual panelists can be "zoomed" in to a session at SEMC2022!
SEMC is now accepting session proposals for sessions and workshops for the 2022 Annual Meeting.
The Theme for the 2022 Annual Meeting: Exhibiting Change 

 As you develop proposals for SEMC2022 consider how your topic is an example of museums exhibiting change as our field evolves and focuses on building equitable and inclusive futures and environments for museum professionals and the communities they serve.

Need some inspiration? Check out this list of subjects that SEMC members indicated they would like to see discussed further in 2022.
Zoom Panelists Welcome in 2022!

While presentations will be in-person for 2022, session panels can include virtual speakers who can be "zoomed" into the session. As you develop sessions think about using this medium to widen the reach and connect with experts in our field who may not normally attend a regional in-person meeting but would be willing to add their expertise to your panel...think BIG!

Proposals will be accepted through January 31, 2022
Have questions about your proposal? Contact the 2022 Program Committee Chair:

Beth Hoover DeBerry
SEMC2022 Program Committee Now Accepting Applications!
We are looking for hard-working museum professionals to help us review program offerings for the SEMC2022 conference in Northwest Arkansas!

Individuals representing any museum/partnership discipline and career level are welcome to apply!
Applications close Dec. 20, 2021.

Interested candidates can learn more about the 2022 Program Committee and/or apply on the SEMC website. Click the button below!
The "C" in SEMC stands for "conference" and also community!
Virtual Programs and Meet-Ups | December 2021
Digital Empowerment Project
Module 9: Social Media

Technical Workshop 1: Build A Simple Social Media Strategy  

Thursday December 9, 2021 2:00pm EST (1:00PM CST)

Beginner Level

Lori Byrd-McDevitt, Co-Founder, 1909 Digital, Indianapolis, Indiana

Social media is essential to remain connected with your audiences. But the endless possibilities can quickly become overwhelming. Where do you even begin? A simple strategy will help establish your goals, online audiences, and the specific social media platforms that are right for your organization. These steps include identifying your low-hanging fruit content and creating a plan of action for when things go wrong online. This session will help you streamline your social media plan so you can go from surviving to thriving in your social media channels. 
Digital Empowerment Project
Module 9: Social Media

Technical Workshop 2: Time-Saving Social Media Tools and Cross-Channel Integration     
Tuesday December 14, 2021 2:00pm EST (1:00PM CST)

Intermediate Level

Sewon Chung Barrera, Senior Manager of Digital Marketing & Content Strategy, Exploratorium, San Francisco, California 

Join this session to learn about free and inexpensive tools for managing multiple types of social media platforms and actionable tips for integrating social media with key audience channels including your website, newsletter, and advertising. Instruction will include an overview of common social media tools and an example workflow geared towards busy museum professionals without a dedicated social media manager.
Digital Empowerment Project
Module 9: Social Media

Technical Workshop 3: Creating Engaging Social Media Campaigns

Thursday December 16, 2021 2:00pm EST (1:00PM CST)

Advanced Level

Jessica Johnson, Creative Strategist, Landover, Maryland

How do we use our objects to tell stories, create buy-in, and preserve culture on social media? Join this session to learn how to create impactful social media campaigns for day-to-day and special projects at your cultural institution. Building on our social media strategy and social media tools workshops, we'll explore how to ideate, create, and launch campaigns that are creative, engaging, efficient, and effective no matter your team's size.
SEMC Virtual Holiday Happy Hour!

Friday December 17, 2021
5:00PM EST (4:00CST) - until.....
Always fun and since it's December, this one will be extra festive!

Save the date and join us to celebrate the 2021 holidays (any and all of them) with SEMC!

Drop in to see friends and make
new ones. Laughs are guaranteed!
Meeting ID: 884 5684 9221

Passcode: 6Fz5bb
Some Good News...
SEMC Member Museum Receives National Press for Holiday Displays!

Today we share the good news that Georgia's Old Governor's Mansion in Milledgeville, Georgia received national press for its spectacular holiday decorations and displays!

Read the full article below!

Congratulations to Georgia's Old Governor's Mansion!

Enjoy this weekly feature where we share GOOD NEWS from around our region! Do you have GOOD NEWS to share with the membership? Please email and we'll feature it here!
SEMC Ones to Watch spotlights up-and-coming museum talent making an impact across our region.

SEMC is proud to feature Laura Conte as this week's One to Watch! Laura is the Membership and Patron Services Coordinator at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Virginia.

Laura's nomination letter highlights her stellar project management skills, ability to coordinate a dizzying array of details and people, and commitment to providing Taubman members with accessible, community-based, unique experiences!

"Last May, the Taubman Museum launched a new digital series titled Curated Cribs as a means to maintain cultivation with donors throughout the pandemic, but also to bolster virtual programming with a phased release of the live segment recordings to the membership at large, and then to the general public.

Named as an homage to the classic MTV show 'Cribs' from the '90s, twice monthly, the museum joined artist and collector hosts on home and studio tours.

Laura served in a key role coordinating with guest hosts: managing video and image submissions for screen shares, assisting with special donor invites to increase cultivation efforts, facilitating live calls with admitting guests, troubleshooting errors, screen sharing archival elements, and leading post-production notes for our graphics team. From there, she was proactive in initiating the phased release to museum members via the museum's e-newsletter and member webpage.

The program realized retention and increased giving from leadership donors, added value to our membership program when many items were cut due to the pandemic, and bolstered online offerings and accessibility during staff reductions.

Congratulations Laura Conte: One to Watch!
Consider nominating an emerging or mid-career museum professional and help SEMC identify and recognize those who are enhancing the profession in a special way and working to make a difference in their community through work in a museum.

Have questions? Contact Zinnia Willits at
SEMC Institutional Member Spotlight:
The Bass
Miami Beach, Florida
Today we are pleased to highlight The Bass, a SEMC institutional member since 2011.

The Bass is Miami Beach’s contemporary art museum. Focusing on exhibitions of international contemporary art, The Bass presents mid-career and established artists reflecting the spirit and international character of Miami Beach. The Bass seeks to expand the interpretation of contemporary art by incorporating disciplines of contemporary culture, such as design, fashion, and architecture, into the exhibition program. The exhibition program encompasses a wide range of media and artistic points of view that bring new thought to the diverse cultural context of Miami Beach.
Central to the museum’s mission,

The Museum recently opened the compelling installation, Alex Israel x Snapchat, an exhibition of works that use Snap’s augmented reality (AR) technology to bring Alex Israel’s Self-Portraits to life. Alex Israel x Snapchat is a unique collaboration between the Los Angeles-based artist and Snap. Invited to work with Snap’s advanced augmented reality team to expand upon his multi-disciplinary practice, Israel has created five augmented reality experiences, each linked to one of his Self-Portrait paintings. Five Lenses, unleashed in your smartphone, overlay Snap’s groundbreaking AR onto Israel’s physical works to give viewers an entirely new experience of painting. A site-specific sixth work leverages Snap’s Landmarker technology and interacts with the museum’s historic Art Deco façade.

This exciting exhibition is now on view at The Bass in Miami Beach through May 1, 2022.
Image: Alex Israel, Self-Portrait (Pelican with Fish), 2019, Acrylic and bondo on fiberglass with Snapchat augmented reality Lens. From the Bass Museum website.
SEMC Emerging Museum Professionals
Hey SEMC EMPs, this section is for you! Keep an eye out for programs and resources of specific interest to emerging museum professionals! Please send content for this area to Zinnia Willits at
 National Emerging Museum Professionals
2021 EMP Awards!
The National Emerging Museum Professionals Network is a volunteer-run 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging and supporting self-defined emerging museum professionals in building vibrant, equitable, and inclusive communities of networking, collaborative practice, and exchange. One way we intend to do this is through recognizing the individuals, collectives, and organizations who have supported the emerging museum professional community and the museum field as a whole. 

The EMP Award Winners for 2021 are some of the best and brightest in the museum field and we are so proud to be recognizing and celebrating these individuals.

Special congratulations to Cara Martinez, the lead animal caretaker at Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta, Georgia for receiving a 2021 NEMPN "Rock Solid" Award!
SEMC Equity and Inclusion Action Team and Resources to Share!
SEMC is committed to providing resources on DEAI and anti-racism. We have added this section to the E-News to share links, articles, and examples of action steps being taken across our nation.

We will work to update and consolidate resources each week. Also, get to know the work of the SEMC Equity and Inclusion Action Team. Join them!

Today we offer the following articles and resources:

Museums as Predators from the blog American Perceptionalism, December 2021

Take the SEMC Equity and Inclusion Action Team 2021 Survey
You are invited to participate in a survey to help the Southeastern Museum Conference Equity and Inclusion Action Team prioritize for the coming year. The survey will be open through the end of 2021 and will be analyzed in the spring of 2022. We'll plan to report on the results during the 2022 fall conference. 

This survey is a follow-up to the 2018 SEMC Equity and Inclusion Survey which assessed how museums thought about and served communities. Our 2021 survey has two goals: 

  • Examine what recent local, regional, and national events have impacted museum professionals and their institutions. 

  • Examine how institutions are responding to recent events and movements through outward-facing programming and internal policy. Are efforts concentrated on outreach, structural change, both, or neither?

Please share this link widely. We are looking for representation from across the field and value multiple perspectives from the same institution (from volunteers to front-line staff, to the board of directors). 
Do you know about the Museum Learning Hub?
Boost your digital media and technology skills!

Join us online @museumlearninghub, made possible by the Digital Empowerment for Small Museums Project, where small museums can access expert training – live webinars and self-paced online modules – for free!

Visit to register!
Join us in December to learn how to make the most of social media!
How can you use different social media platforms to build awareness of your organization, programs, and online resources? This module will cover common social media sites, and how they appeal to different audiences. Learn about common social media channels including user demographics and functions for each channel, how to set up pages as well as available options for nonprofits that encourage inclusivity, and the best practices approach for institutions without a dedicated social media manager. 
Join us for our FREE live webinars:
Intro Session: Get Inspired!
December 2 at 2pm ET (11am PT)
Technical Workshop 1: Build a Simple Social Media Strategy
December 9 at 2pm ET (11am PT)
Technical Workshop 2: Time-Saving Social Media Tools & Cross-Channel Integration
December 14 at 2pm ET (11am PT)
Tech Workshop 3: Topic TBC
December 16 at 2pm ET (11am PT)
Posts that made us stop scrolling and LOOK this week....
Seen on Social Media...
Anyone who has an equestrian in their circles will appreciate this post from the American Saddlebred Museum in Lexington, KY! If only horseback riding/showing/owning was as simple and affordable as this fun game.....
We love seeing posts that highlight the great work of museum staff who are usually behind the scenes. Thank you Hunter Museum of American Art for introducing us to one of your stellar security team members!
Gorgeous and satisfying in a way that defies words. Thank you Virginia MOCA for sharing this amazing "Blanket"
So many amazing museum stores around our region! Buy local! Support museums! We loved this advertising for a Palmetto State ornament from the Aiken County Historical Museum. Get yours today!
Registration for Museums Advocacy Day 2022, February 28 - March 1, 2022, is now OPEN!
Over the course of the pandemic, the museum field has generated unparalleled levels of advocacy for museums. Professionals across the country sent more than 62,000 messages to Congress and created the largest Museums Advocacy Day yet (2021) with over 600 participants and over 400 virtual visits with legislators’ offices, and spurred action resulting in billions of dollars in financial relief that enabled many museums to survive and saved thousands of museum jobs.

In 2022, we have the chance to capitalize on this energy for museums advocacy. Plan to join Museums Advocacy Day 2022, which will take place virtually from February 28–March 1—allowing advocates to once again participate from anywhere they are.

Last year we asked SEMC members who have participated in past Museum Advocacy Days why it is a worthwhile experience. Here's what Susan Perry, former SEMC Executive Director, told us:

"Museums Advocacy Day is critical to connecting with your state representatives. Express your appreciation if your museum received funds from the CARES Act in 2020. Let your representatives know how COVID-19 has directly impacted your institution and community. Congress wants to hear your stories."
Georgia advocates make the case for museums (virtually) at MAD2021
We want you to know that we greatly appreciate your support through membership and will continue to work hard to provide training, connection, and resources to our southeastern museums' community. 
New to SEMC?
Connect with other SEMC Emerging Museum Professionals and Mid-Career Museum Professionals on the following pages:

Thank you SEMC members for all you do for the museums in our region!
Dear SEMC,

Congratulations! You made it to the end of this week's very long E-news! As a special treat for your SEMC diligence, enjoy this sneak peek of our new suite of SEMC graphics! Be on the lookout as we introduce these icons over the coming weeks on our social medial platforms and website.

We are excited to give SEMC posts a new "look" that is fun, consistent, recognizable, and will draw your attention to all things SEMC!

Special thanks to the talented Erin Banks of Banks Creative in Charleston, South Carolina for helping SEMC continue to develop its brand!

Hope everyone has a great week!


Zinnia Willits, Executive Director

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