LAM Speaker Series

The Louisiana Association of Museums will host a new speaker series that brings national thought leaders to the screens of museum professionals in Louisiana and beyond. Workshops will explore broader topics that can provide essential support and key takeaways for all museums, regardless of size.  The series will be presented throughout 2023 with virtual workshops and conference.

Institutional and individual members of LAM will receive free admission and priority reservation for each program. Non-members can register for $10 per program. Registration information will be added at a later date. You can also follow our facebook page or sign up for our e-newsletter for announcements. 

This series received support from the Louisiana Endowment  for the Humanities and was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the American Rescue Plan.


Thank you to the LSU Museum of Art for hosting LAM’s workshop.

2022 Workshops

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1 at 10:00 – 11:30 am CST

Emily Kotecki of High Beam Strategies 

Topic: Expanding Your Digital Toolkit 

Description: This workshop will introduce low-cost digital tools that engage audiences in an online learning environment. In a “hands-on, minds-on” approach, this workshop will examine questions such as: How do we engage audiences with different tools? What are the strengths and limitations of various digital tools? What are the best practices in selecting and using these tools? This is especially relevant as museums navigate digital learning and enhance visitor engagement across multiple platforms.

TUESDAY, JUNE 7 at 9:30 – 11:00 am CST

Elizabeth Merritt –  AAM’s Vice President for Strategic Foresight and Founding Director of the Center for the Future of Museums

Topic: An Interactive Introduction to Strategic Foresight

Description: This workshop will introduce attendees to the basic elements of strategic foresight– the practice of systematically observing current events and using the findings as a springboard for envisioning potential futures. Foresight is a way to expand the imagination and compress uncertainties into a manageable number of possibilities; it combats apathy by empowering organizations to envision desirable outcomes and identify what they can do to create their preferred future. Integrating the skills of strategic foresight into a continual process of planning will help museums to manage the coming years of intense and rapid change.

TUESDAY, MARCH 22 at 9:30 – 11:00 am CST

Paddy Bowman and Lisa Rajthe with Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education

Topic: Museums, Culture, and Community Engagement

Description: Community culture garnered more attention than ever during the Covid-19 pandemic, as people looked to the locals for connection, education, and restoration. Museums have played a key role in helping communities make meaning while navigating virtual, hybrid, and in-person programming and services. And, just as museums are part of community culture, museums have their own unique occupational culture. Participants in this workshop will look at the question, How can paying attention to culture be an asset in deepening community engagement? Hands-on activities will stimulate conversation and strategies among peers around culture and community to envision future endeavors. The session offers mission-driven models for engaging museum staff, boards, docents, and visitors.

About the Speakers

Lisa Rathje is Executive Director of Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education where she oversees the organizational administration, programs, and strategic plan. She directs and co-facilitates the Local Learning education and training initiative in Upstate New York: Culture, Community, and the Classroom. She co-edits the peer-reviewed, multimedia Journal of Folklore and Education. She also consults nationally specializing in professional development for educators and teaching artists. Rathje currently teaches courses on research methods and nonprofit and community partnerships in the Goucher College Masters in Cultural Sustainability program.  She also serves on the Arts Education Partnership Equity and Higher Education Working Groups. In addition to regular contributions as editor to JFE, publications include chapters in Through the Schoolhouse Door (2011) and Folklife and Museums (2016), as well as multiple film credits for a series produced by Dr. Juanamaria Cordones-Cook on Afro-Cuban writers and artists. She has a PhD in English with a concentration in Folklore from the University of Missouri. 

Paddy Bowman is Founding Director of Local Learning and co-edits the Journal of Folklore and Education. K-12 and museum educators, artists, community scholars, and arts administrators around the nation have benefited from her ability to connect non-folklorists with the discipline of Folklore. Her influential university courses and professional development training programs for educators around the country, implementation of model school-based projects, authorship of seminal publications, and development of online and off-line curricular materials have significantly extended the reach of Folklore to hundreds of teachers and their students throughout the United States. She co-edited Through the Schoolhouse Door: Folklore, Community, Curriculum (Utah State University Press 2011) and online resources include the Masters of Traditional Arts Education Guide ( and Acadian Brown Cotton: The Fabric of Acadiana Education Guide  ( She was awarded the Benjamin A. Botkin Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Public Folklore and is a Fellow of the American Folklore Society. She has an MA in Folklore from the University of North Carolina.


Local Learning : The National Network For Folk Arts in Education –

Journal of Folklore and Education –

Elizabeth Merritt, Founding Director, Center for the Future of Museums

Elizabeth is the American Alliance of Museums’ Vice President for Strategic Foresight and Founding Director of the Center for the Future of Museums – a think-tank and research & development lab for the museum field. She studied ecology and evolution as an undergraduate at Yale and received her masters in cell and molecular biology from Duke University. Her museum career has included working in a children’s museum, as well as natural history and history museums, and she is a graduate of the Getty Leadership Institute’s Museum Management Program. 

Prior to starting CFM, Elizabeth literally wrote the book on museum standards and best practices, as director of the Alliance’s accreditation and excellence programs. She notes this was perfect preparation for her current role as agent provocateur—challenging museums to question assumptions about traditional practice, and experiment with new ways of doing business. Elizabeth is the author of the Alliance’s annual TrendsWatch report and works with museums around the world to help them build a better tomorrow.  


CFM on the web:
Twitter @futureofmuseums

Link to TrendsWatch reports:

Emily Kotecki

Emily Kotecki is a museum learning consultant and podcaster based in Raleigh, North Carolina. She recently published a free, downloadable guide called The Distance Learning Workbook: A Launch Guide for Museums. She is also the host and producer of both the Microsoft Libraries and Museums Podcast and her own podcast, Museum Buzz

Prior to consulting, she created award-winning distance learning programs and interpretive tools at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Her career began in political journalism at The Washington Post, where she hosted daily political podcast and weekly show on XM-Sirius Radio. Emily holds a master’s degree in museum education from The George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from American University.