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2022 Conference Keynotes

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

General Session 10 am

The Importance of Museums: Yesterday and Today
Dr. George Henderson, University of Oklahoma

Imagine for a moment that you are a child who lives in an urban community called “The Calumet.” Your home is an apartment in a dilapidated multi-family building. The furnishings are sparse, there is almost no food in the ice box. And there is a sickening smell of roach spray. At night roaches and rats roam freely throughout the apartment. The noise from adjacent apartments punctures periodic periods of silence. Everyone in the building lives in similar conditions of squalor. You are shamefully aware of your tattered clothes, worn out shoes and smelly underwear. Simply put, you are me, George Henderson, festering in a cancerous social condition called “lower class.”

The only book in my house was the Bible. And the only permanent pictures in the living room, which also doubled as my bedroom at night, were of Jesus and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Although I lived in a poor environment, my mind was rich with curiosity. I wanted to learn about people and places outside my small, circumscribed community. One weekend I walked downtown past the museum that sat next to the courthouse. Out of curiosity, I got enough courage to go the museum. And my life changed forever.

Inside the museum I found a sanctuary—a safe place to look and imagine the lives of other people, near and far. The building was quiet, adequately heated or cooled and, best of all, it was managed by an elderly woman who was a gentle, loving person. She learned the names of all the kids who spent time there. She did not tolerate loud talking or other behavior that broke the silence or civility that pervaded the building. She carefully maintained the building’s decorum, answered visitors’ questions, and opened the whole world to my mind.

Yes, that museum was an intellectual gateway to my future. I will tell the conference participants how important they are to people like me: I was inspired by museum artifacts and exhibits to move from intercultural illiteracy to literacy. As the conference participants get computerized to help their patrons to effectively travel museum information highways to education, I encourage every museum professional to combine their warm human qualities with high tech skills. All museum visitors, regardless of their social class, can benefit greatly when museum workers provide them safe and civil places and spaces. Those kind of museums were needed yesterday and they are still needed today to be culturally diverse and inclusive gathering grounds.

A lifetime ago, a museum professional worker looked past my poverty, skin color and racially segregated environment in order to help me understand and appreciate cultures that were different from my own.My conference presentation is designed to underscore the following beliefs that I hold: No electronic devices, or state-of-the-art brochures, or informative web sites, or beautiful buildings will ever adequately replace museum professionals on site who give visitors encouragement, assistance and quality time. I sincerely hope that every conference attendee is that kind of person. 

About the Speaker

In 1967, Dr. George Henderson became the University of Oklahoma’s third full-time African American faculty member at the Norman campus. In 1969, he became the Sylvan N. Goldman Professor of Human Relations, Education and Sociology. Later, he was appointed to three other distinguished professorships: David Ross Boyd Professor, Regents’ Professor, and Kerr-McGee Presidential Professor. After he became the Goldman Professor, he founded the Human Relations Department, which he chaired for 20 years. From 1996 to 2000, he was Dean of the College of Liberal Studies. Thus, he was the first African American in Oklahoma to hold a distinguished professorship; and he was the first African American at the University of Oklahoma to create a degree-granting department; and the first African American dean of a degree-granting college on the Norman campus. Although he retired from the University in 2006, he still teaches on a part-time basis.

Professional Networking Lunches 11:45 am

Ticketed Events.  Pre-Registration Required.  All are welcome.

L1: General Networking Lunch
No Speaker Assigned - You are encouraged to network during this time.

L2: EDCOM Lunch
Tracy Truels is the Bernsen Director of Learning and Audience Engagement at Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She previously held positions at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and as a public school teacher in Chicago. As a writer, educator, and administrator, her work focuses on in-gallery interpretation, museums as partners in larger learning ecosystems, and building cross-departmental staff culture to create more relevant and accessible museum experiences.

L3: RC-MPMA Lunch
Mark Davidson is the Director of Archives and Exhibitions for the American Song Archives, and Curator of the Bob Dylan Archive. He holds a PhD in Musicology from UCSC and an MSIS in Information Studies (Archives, Librarianship) from the University of Texas at Austin. Mark has published numerous articles and essays on music, archiving, and Bob Dylan, and is currently editing the Bob Dylan Center's official catalog, Inside the Bob Dylan Center: Stories from the Archive, forthcoming in the fall of 2023.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Leadership Lunch

Ticketed Event.  Pre-Registration Required

Teresa Knox is the property owner and developer of the legendary recording studio, the Church Studio and serves on the executive board of the Church Studio Music Foundation. Her collection of Leon Russell, Tulsa Sound and Shelter Records memorabilia and artifacts, is on public display at the Church Studio. As a historical conservationist, she also owns and preserved the Harwelden Mansion, a National Landmark operating as an event center and bed and breakfast.  A serial entrepreneur, Knox was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and earned her MBA from Oral Roberts University. She founded Community Care College in 1995 and later, Clary Sage College and Oklahoma Technical College. The 3-campus college system grew to one of the largest private vocational institutions in the nation. In 2015, she converted the institution to a non-profit and stepped down as owner and CEO. Knox is a post-secondary education accreditation specialist and advocate for career and technical training.  Knox works actively in commercial real estate development, investment management, marketing, music industry and small business mentoring. She is a board member for various non-profit, government and corporate entities.


Steven Jenkins is Director of the Bob Dylan Center. A thirty-year veteran of nonprofit arts management and programming, Jenkins held leadership positions at Bay Area organizations including University of California Press, Glide Foundation, San Francisco Film Society/San Francisco International Film Festival, Frameline/San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, San Francisco Cinematheque, Film Arts Foundation and the Ansel Adams Center for Photography prior to relocating to Tulsa in Winter 2022. Jenkins served as Editor-in-Chief of Artweek and Bay Area Citysearch; Senior Editor of see: a journal of visual culture; and has contributed hundreds of articles on visual arts, music, film, literature and culture to publications including New York, Out, California, Detour, SF Camerawork and Publishers Weekly. His books as a writer and editor include City Slivers and Fresh Kills: The Films of Gordon Matta-Clark and Model Culture: James Casebere: Photographs. Jenkins earned a B.A. in English at UC Berkeley and an M.A. in English at San Francisco State University.


Daniel O'Connor, better known as Danny Boy or Danny Boy O'Connor, is an American rapper, and the executive director of The Outsiders House Museum. In the 1990s, O'Connor co-founded the rap group House of Pain where he played the role of art director, designing logos, branding, hype man, and co-rapper. In 1992 their self-titled debut album went platinum.  In 2016, O'Connor, who is a lifelong fan of Francis Ford Coppola's film The Outsiders (1983) and S.E. Hinton's novel it is based on, bought the house used in the film located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He turned it into a museum named The Outsiders House Museum, that contains much of the book and film memorabilia. For his effort preserving a cultural landmark, he received a key to the city.

Friday, October 7, 2022

Closing Lunch: Trends and Issues 12PM

Ticketed Event.  Pre-Registration Required

Burgers, Benches, and Garden Cats: Sustainability though Hospitality

Philbrook Museum of Art CEO and President Scott Stulen shares strategies on how to achieve institutional sustainability amid uncertainty, crisis, and rapid change. Philbrook has emerged stronger from the challenges of the past few years to become a national model for audience engagement and community-centered museums. Philbrook grounds its practice in engaging, welcoming, playful, and inclusive offering, changing the perception and function of the museum. The approach is working driving new audiences, record support, and reflecting the needs and voices of the entire community. This keynote session will cover key strategies and lessons told through the inventive programming, pop-savvy marketing, and hospitality focused work at Philbrook. From burger nights to mud kitchens, sprinklers to swings, strategic collecting to risk-taking exhibitions Philbrook is finding a bridge between new and old audiences alike. Expect to take away practical applications and scalable ideas for museums of any size, region, or subject matter. 

Scott Stulen is the CEO and President of Philbrook Museum of Art. Stulen has a MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Minnesota and a BFA in Sculpture from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He is the former Curator of Audience Experiences and Performance at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Project Director of at the Walker Art Center, and Associate Curator at the Rochester Art Center. At Philbrook, Stulen is guiding the museum to become a recognized national model of sustainability, relevance, and community impact. He serves on several national, state, and local boards including the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), Tulsa Arts Management Consortium, Tulsa Regional Tourism, and heads the Tulsa Area Attractions group. 

Scott lives in Tulsa with his wife Rachel and their two sons, Erlend and Oliver. He is also a practicing visual artist, curator, DJ and sandlot baseball player.

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