MPMA's program For REtirees:

Retired Museum Professionals in Service to the Field


The Retired Museum Professionals in Service to the Field Program keeps retirees connected to current and retired museum professionals.  It also engages retired professionals as informal volunteer resources to the museum field.


Retirees are an underutilized resource and MPMA’s Retirement Program aims to change that! Your expertise and your seasoned experience can be put to good use.


Are you willing to mentor museum professionals?  Willing to "coach" small museums on governance, ethics, or collections care?   Sign up for MPMA’s Retirement Program.

How to Join

MPMA Members: Please sign in and go to your profile.  You can edit your profile and choose this PIN and/or any of the other PINs that you wish to join from a checkbox list in your profile.

Non-Members: Please fill out the PIN Sign-up Form and you will be added to this MPMA PIN.


The Program invites involvement of retirees from the museum profession who reside in MPMA’s ten state region.  It also welcomes participation by those who are approaching retirement.  For more information contact the grant committee at mpmagrant@gmail.com or the MPMA Office at 303-979-9358.


There are opportunities for those who participate in this MPMA Program to stay connected with their museum colleagues through special offerings at the Annual MPMA Conference.  In addition, retirees can stay linked to the field via regular communications through MPMA’s newsletter and social media connections.

The Retirement Program was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services Sparks! Ignition Grants for Museums Award (MG-45-16-0025-16). The focus of the program is on museum-related professional pursuits after retirement, not on financial planning or supplanting services of consultants.  The grant period ends in July of 2017.

In October,  MPMA convened the "Think Tank" to brainstorm ideas for its IMLS grant-funded Retirement Program.

MPMA members leading the grant project are:

Henry Crawford, retired, Museum of Texas Tech University

Elisa Phelps, Director of Collections/Library Division, History Colorado

Joseph Schenk, Director, Art Museum of South Texas

Michael Smith, retired, Nebraska State Historical Society

Rick Stryker, retired, Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History

Advisory group:

Steve Friesen, Director, Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave

Mark Janzen, Director of Museum Studies, University of Central Oklahoma

Jay S. Smith, State Museum Director, Museum of the South Dakota Historical Society

Rick Young, Museum Manager, Fort Caspar Museum

Updates on the Project

Updates on the project will be added periodically to keep you informed of new discoveries and developments.

Feedback, suggestions and requests for information should be sent to mpmagrant@gmail.com

Survey on Retirees:  Results

MPMA recently surveyed museum professionals in the region regarding our work on the grant.  We thank the 170 folks who thoughtfully responded to the survey. Their responses supported the premise of MPMA’s grant application to IMLS: that retired museum professionals do wish to remain involved in the museum field upon retirement.

  • Of those retired, 85% said they already are working/volunteering in the museum profession
  • 80% of respondents, not retired, anticipate being engaged in some capacity (volunteer or part-time) in the museum field

The grant group is continuing to refine the projects it identified at the annual conference in Oklahoma City as forming the foundation for the “Retired Museum Professionals in Service to the Field” program.  They are:

  • Establishing a Staying in the Game Network
  • Sustaining Networking
  • Advocacy
  • Mid-career mentoring
  • Coaching institutions
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MPMA: A 10-State Regional Museum Association

Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming

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