JIMI Trains Museum Leaders

Thanks to Martha Battle Jackson, Curator of NC State Historic Sites, C2C workshop instructor, and JIMI Administrator, for this guest post.

JIMI 2012 participants work through a training game called “yuck.”

JIMI? What is JIMI? Although JIMI is an acronym for Jekyll Island Management Institute, it is also rapidly becoming a nationally recognized museum management training program. The faculty consists of leaders within the museum community who are willing to share their experiences and who create participatory exercises to allow trainees to get a sense of real-life museum challenges and how to solve them.

Each fall, the JIMI Committee reviews applications and selects those who show potential for museum leadership. The committee strives to select a variety of museum professionals, museum types and sizes, and experiences. While a minimum of two years of experience is preferred, the committee will sometimes waive that requirement to allow someone with similar life experiences to participate.

The Jekyll Island Museum serves as host for this Southeastern Museums Conference program, providing meeting space in one of its historic buildings. Lunch and session breaks allow participants to stroll the beautiful historic district. Faculty members are available at meals and other leisure times for informal chats in case a participant needs to discuss a sensitive issue.

Participants learn what their management styles are, how to manage personnel more effectively, and how to build teams. Other topics include museum administration and trusteeship, fundraising, marketing, creating exhibits, public relations, collections management, disaster preparedness, interpretation, and volunteer management.

Sessions are usually about 3 hours in length with time for breaks, and participants have Saturday afternoon off to explore the island as well as other islands in the area. The last session is a group project that encapsulates many of the principles learned and allows participants to gain more confidence. Later that evening the SEMC Executive Director presents certificates to the graduates.

How successful is JIMI? Participants often remark that they learned more in 8 days than they did during their entire museum studies program. Participants have assumed leadership roles on state, regional, and national levels. Many have gained the confidence to become first-time directors, to tackle a multi-million capital campaign, or build new facilities.

JIMI 2013 will be January 22-29, 2013. The application deadline is November 15, 2012. The North Carolina Museums Council offers one scholarship each year for JIMI participation. Click here for more information.

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About collectionsconversations

This blog will contain posts from the C2C project staff on a variety of topics related to collections care and disaster preparedness. Enjoy the posts and let us know if you would like additional information or have a topic you would like for us to address.

Posted on September 28, 2012, in collections management, guest bloggers, museum governance and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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