In this energetic session, we will explore some of the most powerful words flying around today’s museum hallways – family, engage, learning, impact, STEM, inclusion, diversity. Do we use “museum” words mainly out of habit and convenience, or do we actually agree upon what we mean when we use these words? These words have the ability to influence our work; at the same time they can constrain it. These words not only make it difficult for museums to communicate well with non-museum professional audiences, but internally we battle over the conceptual meaning of these words. In this session, you will learn how language used by museum professionals is powerful in positive and negative ways.


  • Joe Heimlich


  • Elee Wood
  • Jessica Luke
  • Cecilia Garibay