Letter from Randy Shulman, AMDA President, 2023 – 2024

March 8, 2024 

Dear AMDA Colleagues,   

Planning for the 2024 AMDA Conference is progressing well – we hope you can  join us in Pasadena, June 10-13!  We are gathering exceptional people to lead our sessions and trying to pack as much as reasonably possible into the time we will spend together while still having great visits to see incredible art, meet an artist or two and have time for convivial conversation over lunch and dinner. Here is a taste of what we have planned:   

Arthur Cohen from LaPlaca Cohen will return to AMDA in 2024 for an expanded session called: “Towards a New Normal? Navigating the Changes in Cultural Audiences”. Drawing from a range of economic and behavioral studies as well as highlights from LaPlaca Cohen’s audience survey, Culture Track, Arthur Cohen will present an overview of a range of significant and often disruptive changes affecting the needs, concerns, and desires of today’s cultural audiences.     

John Morey from the Morey Group will discuss the 2024 Cultural Attraction Engagement Survey. This survey identifies how and why Americans engage (visit, join, support) with cultural attractions.  We’ll also feature sessions that highlight:

  • • Multigenerational Fundraising and Preparing for the Great Wealth Transfer
  • • Building a Resilient Development Team and Taking Care of Yourself
  • • Campaign Case Studies

As well as a dynamic Cultural Leaders Panel. Please don’t miss the AMDA Conference!   

It occurs to me that several of us are in new roles or are new to AMDA in 2024. We’ll make sure that we take the opportunity to widen our circles and promote dialog among our colleagues at this year’s conference. One of AMDA’s strongest assets is the ability to draw upon the wisdom and experience of our AMDA members whether by connections made at the conference or via the AMDA Listserv. The goal of this year’s conference is to offer clear and relevant insights, an opportunity to make new friends, and deploy key takeaways to help offer fresh resources to make challenging jobs more successful and rewarding.   

If you have ideas and are willing to participate as a session leader or presenter, please let me know. We will make the experience even more valuable with our “cone of silence” roundtable discussions.   

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with ideas or if you’d like to design a session or sit on a panel.   

Typically, the conference runs from Monday evening through Thursday at noon. This year, we encourage you to join us for an optional Los Angeles Art excursion to downtown L.A. museums and galleries. The tours take place on Monday, June 10, prior to the opening dinner at The Huntington. Attendees would need to arrive the evening prior (Sunday, June 9) and the organized excursion will conclude at the Hyatt Place Pasadena hotel prior to the opening reception at The Huntington. The conference rate is also in effect on Sunday, June 9.  

Also, we are aware of several new colleagues who are the head fundraisers of Art Museums or closely related organizations. If you know of someone whom we should invite to become a member of AMDA, please let us know.   

Here are several links to things you will see at The Huntington if you are able to join the conference:  

The Los Angeles Times on The Huntington’s fantastic new acquisitions in 2023: “The Huntington was gifted four major paintings this year. They fit like a glove”   

A new masterpiece by Betye Saar has been named as one of the 25 “Defining Artworks of 2023” in ARTnews.  

The Huntington relocated an exquisite 17th Century Japanese house to its grounds and opened it to the public in late 2023: “An ancient Japanese home was rebuilt in L.A. Now’s your chance to look inside”   

Looking forward to seeing you here in June! 

Randy Shulman

[email protected]
AMDA President 2023-24
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens