Future OMA Conferences

September 16-18, 2020  - Virtual Conference

September 15-17, 2021 - Shawnee, Oklahoma

September 14-16, 2022 - Enid, Oklahoma

For more information on hosting a future OMA conference, please send an inquiry email to Brenda Granger and/or download the RFP here

Note: all conference communities must commit to raising at least $7,000 in local funding and/or in-kind services for the conference (not including hotel meeting rooms or other amenities given in exchange for sleeping room reservations).  In addition, it is expected the lodging location will provide two complimentary sleeping rooms for the duration of the conference.

It has come to our attention there is SPAM circulating regarding purchasing the OMA Virtual Conference Attendee List.  This is a spam email, and no such list is available for purchase.  Please disregard if you receive such an email.  Thank you. 

Oklahoma Museum Virtual Conference 

Museums 2020: Changing Your Perspective
September 16-18, 2020

We did it, we made the leap for the 2020 Oklahoma Museum Conference from in-person to virtual.  We thank Enid, the original host of the 2020 conference, for being so understanding and having us return in 2022. The conference theme remains the same, Changing Your Perspective, but the content is up to date and reflects the current times.

View the 2.5 day conference program content here

Registration is closed.

Now accepting proposals for the 2021 Oklahoma Museum Conference which will take place September 15-17 in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The theme is Smooth Sailing: Museums Charting New Waters.
More information to come.



Thank you to the 2020 Oklahoma Museum Virtual Conference Sponsors 

Oklahoma Today

Oklahoma Arts Council
National Endowment for the Arts 
Kirkpatrick Family Fund
Oklahoma Humanities
National Endowment for the Humanities
Visit Enid
Oklahoma Department of Libraries
Oklahoma Historical Records Advisory Board
National Historical Publications and Records Commission
The Guild
Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center
Exhibit Concepts, Inc.
Jasmine Moran Children's Museum
Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
Route 66 Alliance
The Springer Company


Thank you to the following exhibitors who will be joining us in 2020 

3D Scans Plus
Certified Folder Display Service, Inc.

Exhibit Concepts, Inc.
Martin&Martin Design
Oklahoma Arts Council
Oklahoma Department of Libraries
Oklahoma History Center
Oklahoma Humanities
Oklahoma Today
Rebecca Elder Cultural Heritage Preservation
The Guild
The Springer Company
University of Oklahoma Press

View the virtual conference exhibitor and sponsor opportunities.

Conference Information

Why YOU Should Attend

Museum budgets and staffing are tight; we know. But attending the Oklahoma Museum Virtual Conference is valuable to you AND your museum. How?

Expand your network by connecting virtually with a wide range of attendees. A broad network provides a stable base from which to draw when you have questions or need guidance once you return home.

Build your knowledge and take innovative ideas back to your museum. Conference sessions cover a variety of topics from education to collections, fundraising to preservation, and marketing to best practices.

Visit with exhibitors to find products/services of value to your museum in the virtual exhibit hall.

Grow within the profession by learning best practices and ways to increase outreach and services.

By participating in OMA, especially at the conference, the museum can position itself to be an active and vital part of your community.

Awards Program

Due to the pandemic making for unusual circumstances, the OMA 2020 Awards program will be incorporated into the 2021 Awards program.  More information will be available in late 2020.  

View 2019 Award Winners Here

Assistive Needs

The Oklahoma Museums Association strives to ensure programs and activities are accessible to all interested persons, including those who are disabled, have impaired vision or hearing, or other sensory impairments. Please notify us no later than August 15 if you have assistive needs at the conference.

Conference Scholarships

Scholarship deadline was August 15.  No additional scholarships are available. Scholarships provided by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries and Oklahoma Historical Records Advisory Board with funding provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. 

Contributing to the OMA Scholarship Fund
Individuals may contribute directly to the OMA Scholarship Fund online 

Keynote Speakers

There will be two featured Keynote speakers for the 2020 Oklahoma Museum Virtual Conference
Seema Rao, Self-Care in the Workplace and Dr. Bob Blackburn, Inside the Director's Studio

Keynote Session on Thursday, September 17: Self-Care in the Workplace
Speaker: Seema Rao, Deputy Director and Chief Experience Officer at the Akron Museum of Art. 

This keynote will be presented live with 60 minutes of content followed by 30 minutes of questions from the audience and discussion.

Museum work can be exhausting--especially in these challenging times, post COVID-19. Are we doing enough to care for ourselves? What can we do to exercise self-care and support others in their restorative practices? The speaker will discuss how museum workers can practice self-care as well as foster a healthier, more productive, and more creative work environment in our new normal.

Seema has spent the last two years helping museums, non-profits, and libraries bring their best ideas to light. She is currently the Deputy Director and Chief Experience Officer at the Akron Museum of Art where she has been focused on transformative change in organizations and helping the museum survive the COVID crisis. She was previously the Principal and CEO of Brilliant Idea Studio (BIS) BIS specializes in content development and strategy; change facilitation; and inclusive community work. She has worked with a broad range of institutions including Rowan University, the Science Museum in Bihar, the Massillon Museum of Art, the Asia Society Texas Center, and the American Alliance of Museums. 

With nearly 20 years of museum experience, Ms. Rao has extensive experience in interpretation and programming from leading content development for all audiences. In her seventeen years at the Cleveland Museum of Art, she worked on numerous projects including leading the content development for many digital projects including the innovative Gallery One and Studio Play. She has worked assiduously to include new audiences from serving as the museum’s access specialist, developing community engagement programming, and creating teen programming. Her work has directly impacted millions of museum visitors. 

She is active in the intellectual life of the museum field. She has served as the keynote speaker for conferences like the Pennsylvania Museums Association and MuseumNext. She has published extensively including two books: Objective Lessons: Self-Care for Museum Professionals and Change at Work: Not Just Surviving but Thriving. Ms. Rao holds a Master’s degree in Art History from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and a Master’s degree in Information Science and User Experience Design.


Keynote Session on Friday, September 18: Inside the Director’s Studio
Speakers: Ken Busby, Executive Director & CEO, Route 66 Alliance and Dr. Bob Blackburn, Executive Director, Oklahoma History Center

This keynote will be presented live with 60 minutes of content followed by 30 minutes of questions from the audience and discussion.

If you have ever watched Inside the Actor’s Studio, then you know what to expect with this friendly interview style format. Oklahoma's Cultural Czar, Ken Busby, will ask thought provoking and probing questions of Dr. Bob Blackburn that will allow the audience to feel a personal connection to him and his legacy. After 41 years serving our great state at the Oklahoma Historical Society, and serving as Executive Director since 1999, Dr. Blackburn is a marvel in the Oklahoma museum community and beyond. We salute him as he retires in January 2021, and we look forward to hearing how his journey brought him to head our state’s historical society and what he envisions for the future of Oklahoma museums. We are sure this keynote will inspire your current good works while creating your own legacy.

Blackburn, a native Oklahoman, has served as executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society since 1999. He joined the OHS in 1980 as editor of "The Chronicles of Oklahoma" and became deputy director for agency operations in 1990.

He is a 1973 graduate of Southwestern Oklahoma State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. He earned his M.A. & Ph.D. in history from OSU. Blackburn grew up in Edmond & graduated from Putnam City High School in 1969.

Blackburn published several articles & his first book while still in graduate school & has since written or co-authored 18 books and numerous articles, journal entries, and screen plays. He is a steady source of historical information to the media & has appeared numerous times on the History Channel.

He was instrumental in planning and building the Oklahoma History Center, a 215,000 square foot museum & research center. Blackburn has served on numerous national & regional boards and committees, including the Western History Association, the Oklahoma Association of Professional Historians, the American Institute of Architects, and Leadership Oklahoma City.

His hobbies include reading, running, carpentry, landscaping, and golf. He is married to former State Representative Debbie Blackburn, and they have one son, Beau.

Conference Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received by the conference registration deadline are eligible for a refund unless otherwise noted. Cancellations received after the registration deadline are non-refundable.  All cancellations must be in writing.  Participant substitutions are accepted at any time. OMA is not responsible for cancellations sent but not received.

OMA reserves the right to cancel a program at any time.  In the event of such a cancellation, participants will receive a full registration refund.  OMA is not responsible for any expenses, travel or otherwise, incurred as a result of participation in our cancellation of a program.

Consent to Use Photographic Images

Registration and attendance at or participation in OMA conference and other activities constitutes an agreement by the registrant to OMA's use and distribution (both now and in the future) of the registrant or attendee’s image.