Back to Events
Community Conversations Charette-Northern Virginia

Community Conversations Charette-Northern Virginia

Monday, January 24, 2022
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM (EST)

Event Details

The Event is FULL. However, we can add you to a waitlist in the event there are cancellations. Email Rebecca at

Northern Virginia Charette

Community Conversations Initiative:
Facing Challenges in the Museum Field

VAM recognizes that the museum community is currently seeing significant change in how visitors experience our museums and how museums respond to current events. To address these challenges, we are currently pursuing our Community Conversations Initiative that we hope will serve to help members and the museum community respond to key periods of transition in the field and help identify strategies for organizations to respond to changing societal needs and expectations, and to provide the tools and preparation necessary to address these changes effectively.

The Initiative involves interactive efforts with members to seek effective solutions that can be shared across the field. This process started with online Focus Groups in July and August 2021 and will next include a series of in-person charettes in Fall 2021 and Winter/Spring 2022 that will offer an opportunity for deeper discussion and brainstorming. 

To do this we need your help!

We invite you to attend one of the in-person charettes being held in each of the five regions of the state that comprise VAM's membership map, including: Central Virginia, Mountain & Valley, Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, and Tidewater & Eastern Shore.

These half-day gatherings will offer members an opportunity to help tackle the challenges and advice raised during the Focus Groups and be personally engaged with their membership association in leading change in the field. 

Attendance will be limited to foster intimate discussions in a safe environment during the pandemic.

What is a Charrette?

A charette (pronounced “shuh-ret”) is an intense period of work by a group of people, that is often used by various design fields, preservationists, government, housing, and community organizations to tackle an issue or further concept development. The process typically brings groups together for deep listening, brainstorming, and creative problem solving. 

The word charette comes from the French word for “cart” or “chariot” and is sometimes spelled “charrette.” The term is thought to have originated in the 1800s at the Parisian art school, the École des Beaux Arts, when professors would circulate a cart, or “charette,” to collect final artwork while students worked feverishly to meet the deadline.

Learn More About the Community Conversations Initiative


For all participants of Monday’s charette, The Smithsonian Institution requires that visitors for events meet their vaccination requirement. To meet the vaccination requirement attendees shall be prepared to show proof of vaccination at the door. If guests are not able to be vaccinated, they must provide proof of a negative recent test for COVID-19 (test conducted within the last 72 hours) at the door. Should neither document be produced, the guest cannot be granted access. Please be prepared for this additional requirement, and let us know if this affects your plans to attend.**