Museums Serving the Military Presentation on February 24


Posted by OMA on 12/08/2021

Museums Serving the Military

OMA is proud to announce the Oklahoma Arts Council granted OMA an Ars and the Military Grant to present Museums Serving the Military via Zoom on February 24 from 10:00am-11:30am. If is FREE.

The two fantastic speakers lined up for this important program are James H. Bruns and Douglas Shaw Elder

Mr. Bruns will speak on  how to attract and serve the military connected audience at your museums including what to think about when the museum is planning exhibits and programs about the military (and beyond) and specifically for the military audience. It will be good insight as well as top level strategic thinking as how to build and reach the military audience. A few topics that Mr. Burns will touch on with his vast years of experience includes the basics such as military 101; military branches, ranks and titles; military terms; how to build a connection; developing a relationship; understanding the military culture; assessing your potential role and your organizational capabilities in serving the military audience; designing your offerings; implement, observe and adapt and lastly, having a positive impact on the military audience by engaging them with museum programs and exhibits.

Mr. Shaw Elder will speak to what it takes to facilitate a military community arts program, including partnerships. He will also discuss how museums can begin a relationship with a veterans coordinator as museums are planning their arts-based projects for veterans and military personnel. He will then continue his discussion on how museums can offer a variety of hand-on arts programming.

The program is free, but you must register in advance for this meeting: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIpf-GtpzojEtyfPBMMWi8RxfWBXwTrMZpC After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

This program meets the Oklahoma’s Arts and the Military Initiative goals to 1) create more opportunities for military connected individuals – including active-duty service members, reservists, veterans, their families and caregivers, and
others- to meaningfully engage with the arts, and 2) build capacity among Oklahoma organizations to offer
arts programs for military-connected participants


You will not want to miss these two excellent speakers sharing their knowledge on how your museum can reach and serve the military audience.  We look forward to “seeing” you on February 24.


Featured speakers bios:
James H. Bruns and Douglas Shaw Elder

James H. Bruns is the President of the National Navy Museum Foundation, a 501©(3) nonprofit organization chartered in the State of Virginia and recognized by the IRS as a registered charitable fundraising foundation dedicated to assisting the Department of the Navy in funding the planning, building and operation of the proposed National Museum of the United States Navy. Prior to that he served as the Executive Director of the Navy League of the United States. Before joining the Navy League in October 2017 Mr. Bruns was the head of the Naval History and Heritage Command’s Museums Operation Division from 2011 to 2017 with administrative oversight of the Navy’s ten officially designated museums located around the country. In addition to his management oversight of the Navy’s museum system, he also served as the Director of the National Museum of the United States Navy, the United States Navy’s flagship museum. Mr. Bruns is no stranger to non-profit management. During his 34-year Federal and not-for-profit career, Jim Bruns has served as a Smithsonian curator, museum director, and deputy to the Under Secretary for American Museum and National Programs. He was also the head of fundraising for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., with responsibility for coordinating the raising of $164 million annually. Mr. Bruns also served as presidents for the Atlanta Historical Society and the Theodore Roosevelt Association, as well as a Vice President for Montclair State University, New Jersey's second largest university. While in Atlanta, he led the Atlanta Historical Society's successful negotiations to acquire the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum, managed the restoration of three historic properties, and assembled one of the most comprehensive Civil War collections in the country. He also assisted the City of Atlanta in acquiring and displaying the Martin Luther King Jr. Collection. Mr. Bruns was also the founding director of the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum, his first museum construction project, which was completed in three years, on-time and under budget. A graduate of the University of Maryland, Jim Bruns is the author of 18 books on postal history and philately and naval history and heritage. Four of these books are awaiting publication. Mr. Bruns has also written more than a dozen articles on naval history for quarterly publications.

Douglas Shaw Elder has served as an advocate and leader in arts education. He has taught at multiple universities and given presentations on creativity and innovation nationally as well as internationally. Presentations include speaking at the University of Sydney at the invitation of Dr. Dan Lovallo, the Sarkey’s Southwest Regional Leadership Conference, the War, Literature and the Arts Conference at the U.S. Air Force Academy and the Oklahoma Governor’s Veteran Services Symposium. Elder has facilitated large-scale installations, including visual arts projects at the Oklahoma Creativity Forum and the Oklahoma Arts Conference. Elder has been teaching and promoting healing arts education for our military veterans. For the past three years, he has worked with our former service members at the Norman Veterans Center, providing healing arts therapy. Elder has traveled to Washington, D.C. as an arts representative to advocate for the visual arts, Oklahoma Arts and Military Initiative.