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The Future Starts With You Symposium (College Students)

April 22, 2022 @ 11:30 am - 4:30 pm


Are you a student interested in working in museums? The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (KIA) has partnered to host a one-day virtual symposium aimed to assist university students who may be seeking careers in arts institutions. During this unique event from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 22, 2022, students will explore equity in the museum field with accomplished professionals throughout the midwest. The day will include formal presentations by these professionals in the field and “real talk” behind the scenes conversations with additional experts representing leading Midwest museums. 


11:30 am – 1 pm: Inclusiveness in Museums

How do we diversify the museum pipeline? Panelists will share their experiences and the paths that led to their museum careers.

  • Jim Leija, Deputy Director for Public Experience and Learning, University of Michigan Museum of Art
  • Denene de Quintal, Assistant Curator for Native American Art, Detroit Institute of Arts
  • James Burgess, Conservation Coordinator, Toledo Museum of Arts

Introduction by Julián Zugazagoitia, President of the Board of Directors of the Association of Art Museum Directors. Moderated by Belinda Tate, Executive Director, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts


1:45-3 pm: Bringing Equitable Practices Into Your Museum Work

Join museum professionals from across the region to hear how they ensure that diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion are an intentional part of their museum practice.


3:15 – 4:30 pm: Breakout Rooms

What are your burning questions about a museum career? Students will have a chance to meet with these professionals in breakout rooms, where they can have dialogue around the future of working in museums. Join one of our panelists in a small group setting for informal, authentic and behind-the-scenes insight into museum work.


Upon registration, students will receive a private VIP Zoom link to attend as well as a special link to jobs at these participating institutions to help them move forward in their careers. Continue the conversation on Saturday, April 23 with renowned artists and experts in their field. Stay tuned for more information exclusive to college students. 

Reserve Your Ticket



Credit: Adia Millett, Transition Two, 2019, acrylic and glitter on panel. Collection of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts; Elisabeth Claire Lahti Fund purchase.