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John Wesley Powell River History Museum hosts 36th annual UMA conference

Conference attendees of the 36th annual UMA conference held at the John Wesley Powell Museum in Green River attend a break out session.

The Utah Museums Association held its 36th annual conference in Green River this year. This was the first time the John Wesley Powell River History Museum has hosted this event, the theme of which was: Sharing Your Stories. It was a two-day museum workshop and a one-day field trip held Oct. 21-23.

Day one consisted of single sessions focused on history in general, with the workshops facilitated by noted historian Dr. David Kyvig. He focused on the value of nearby history, cultural heritage and your community. The day ended with a reception that included separate open discussions with experts providing valuable information for the operation of museums.

Day two consisted of breakout sessions, three sets of three, where participants chose which session was of primary importance to their museum. The institutions with more than one member in attendance had the advantage of splitting up and participating in more than one session at a time. Lucky for them, the choices were hard to make.

The day three field trips were to: Sego Canyon, Dead Horse Point, Goblin Valley or a free round of golf at Green River State Park.

The attendance was very good with about 150 members from places like St. George, Kanab, Blanding, Vernal, Logan, Delta and all points between. All comments were very positive and everyone enjoyed a good learning experience and a good time.

The UMA (founded in 1972) is a not-for-profit professional membership organization for museum staff and volunteers that serve museums of all sizes and disciplines throughout Utah. They are committed to building the capacity of all Utah museums to serve their communities. Their mission is: To provide professional development and networking opportunities to build the capacity of Utah's museums; connect museums to professional resources and best practice; and serve as an advocate for Utah museums. Their able staff on site included Anne Asman executive director, Robert Voyles, president, Ryan Paul, vice president, Cody Merchant and Keri Wilde, board members at large. Ruth White and KD Perkins were also much appreciated for their work and inspiration.

The JWP museum staff, volunteers and the City of Green River personnel were helped immensely by committee chairman Eugene Swalberg, Green River State Parks, and all the local businesses, organizations and volunteers who provided food, equipment, and support to make this a great showcase for the JWP museum, Green River and Emery County.

Next year's conference will be held in Park City (early October 2010), try to attend it will be worth the trip.

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