One of the time-honored traditions and privileges for AAM attendees who work on or for museum boards is the CEO and Director Reception. This year, the reception was held at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, in the expansive lobby of the Audrey Jones Beck building. MFAH is the home of Conference Chair Gwen Goffe, who is the Interim Executive Director of the Museum.
The large crowd present for the reception enjoyed passed platters of creations from City Kitchen Catering and a very busy open bar strategically placed in the middle of the lobby. It was reunion time for many of us, and it was good to see and catch up with other museum leaders who have been every bit as busy since the meeting last year in Los Angeles. Guests were offered stickers to ensure their access to every part of the large (even by Texas standards) museum and the collections on view (If you were unable to make the reception, be sure to make other plans to visit MFAH while you are here in Houston!).
Remarks made to a full house included a welcome from Gwen, congratulatory comments from Ford Bell, and remarks from the Institute of Museum and Library Services Director Susan Hildreth and the Director of the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, Fuad Al-Therman. Guests were excited to hear Susan’s enthusiasm for museums in her remarks, and more than a little impressed with Fuad’s vision for the Saudi Aramco-backed Center in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
Soon it was back to the process of catching up with old friends and making new ones, and comparing notes on plans for the conference. I vote we have this much fun every night of the conference. Oh wait, we will!
–Jon Iszard, President & CEO, The Health Museum; Co-Chair,
AAM 2011 Public Relations & Marketing Subcommittee;
member AAM 2011 Local Host Committee