Special Events

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Kick-off at Northwest Museum

Tuesday, November 14

Join us at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture to officially kick off the 2017 NAI National Conference in Spokane!

We will travel from the Davenport Grand Hotel to the museum where we will be hosted for an evening of hors d’oeuvres and drinks among the backdrop of over one million artifacts, including fine art and material culture from the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

The museum will be closed to the public so that you can mingle with colleagues, as well as new and old friends, while touring the museum’s extensive permanent collection and the special exhibit, Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition. The Titanic exhibition takes you on a journey through the life of the Titanic and has been designed with a focus on the legendary RMS Titanic’s compelling human stories as best told through authentic artifacts recovered from the wreck site of Titanic and extensive room re-creations. Perfume from a maker who was traveling to New York, china etched with the logo of the elite White Star Line, pieces of the Ship itself—these and many other authentic objects offer haunting, emotional connections to lives abruptly ended or forever altered. This is one exhibit not to miss!

5:15: Bus departs the Davenport Grand
5:30–7:00pm: Kickoff event
7:00pm: Bus departs the museum for the hotel

Cost: Included in registration (guest cost $30)


Historical Steam Plant

This is an exclusive tour of the historical steam plant while it is undergoing renovation. The steam plant has generously offered to open its doors and let our members tour this historical site.

Built in 1915 by Merchants Central Heating Company, then purchased by Washington Water Power in 1919 (now AVISTA), this design was created by one of Spokane’s most famous architects, Kirtland Cutter. The steam plant provided heat fueled by coal for all of the downtown core and lower south hill. The steam plant was designed for twelve 500 horse-powered coal-fired boilers, fed from a 1,200-ton coal bunker mounted high above the floor. The plant produced approximately 370,000 pounds of steam per hour. In 1986 the final whistle blew and the steam plant was closed. After 10 years of sitting vacant, the plant partnered with well-known historical architects Ron and Julie Wells, who brought the experience of making the steam plant offices and restaurant and brewery, along with keeping all the original equipment in the same locations as it was when it was working. The plant is now over 100 years old and on the National, State, and Local Historical Registers.

The tour will include all access including boilers, commons, event center, and kitchen.

Time: 7:00–9:00pm
Cost: $25
Included: One drink
Distance: 15-minute walk each way to steam plant located at 159 S Lincoln St, Spokane
Bus: A small bus will be provided for those who are not able to walk. The bus departs the Davenport Grand at 6:45pm; returns 9:00pm
Suggested Gear: Comfortable clothing, walking shoes
Maximum Number of Participants: 40
Minimum Number of Participants: 25
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Interpretation in the Taproom

Microbrew Interpretive Brewing & Tasting

Back by popular demand! Interpretation doesn’t stop when you enter the taproom; in fact the taproom is a rich space for interpretation. This year we will be headed to one of Spokane’s finest craft breweries, Iron Goat Brewery, located in a recently restored historic auto shop. Participants will enjoy a tour of the building with one of the brewers, highlighting the restoration, before sitting down for delicious snacks.

We will dive into the history of beer in the Pacific Northwest and learn about Ezra Meeker, an early migrant to the Washington Territory that became “Hop King of the World.” Taste Master and NAI member Ira Bletz will be our guide as we look at the history, lore, and mythology of beer and brew craft. He will explain different styles and brewing processes while we taste a wide variety of brews from sours to stouts and lagers to reds.

If you have not had the opportunity to attend one of Ira’s interpretive beer events before, you will want to register as soon as possible to make sure you get a spot—as this bus fills up fast. We hope to see you in the taproom.

Time: 7:00–9:00pm
Cost: $65
Included: Beer and yummy hors d’oeuvres.
Bus: Departs the Davenport Grand at 6:30pm; returns 9:00pm
Suggested Gear: Comfortable clothing, walking shoes
Maximum Number of Participants: 55
Minimum Number of Participants: 30
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Ghosts of Spokane Downtown Bus Tour

Join local social historian and ghostologist Chet Caskey for a two-hour bus tour of the Ghost Venues and Paranormal. Sights include the historic old Davenport Hotel, the Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral, the Masonic Temple, and haunted buildings throughout the downtown area.

Chet Caskey, Regional Tour Guide and Certified Tourism Ambassador, was the historian for Spokane’s Community Cemeteries for three years and leads Spokane Ghost Tours. Chet currently teaches a course on “Haunted Spokane” for the Spokane Falls Community College, Institute for Extended Learning. He is an advocate for the preservation of Spokane’s unique heritage and a popular speaker about the city and its many facets.

Time: 7:00–8:45pm or 9:00–10:30pm
Bus: Loads at 6:45pm and 8;45pm respectively
Cost: $22
Suggested Gear: Comfortable clothing, walking shoes
Maximum Number of Participants: 29
Minimum Number of Participants: 12
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Traditional Native American Dancers & Drums

Join us at the Davenport Grand for our special hotel evening event!

We are excited to be able to offer a unique and inspiring evening with local Native American Indian tribes as they showcase the culture of the Powwow celebration and etiquettes for participants and spectators. They will share important aspects of the celebration and the meanings behind the dance styles, songs being shared, ceremonies held within the celebration, social dances, and what you can expect as a spectator. Dancers will dance in their respective categories to demonstrate style of dance and presentation of regalia. This event is rarely offered to the public!

Time: 7:00–9:00pm
Cost: $15 (proceeds benefit the Native Project of Spokane)
Location: Cedar Ballroom, Davenport Grand
Maximum Number of Participants: 100
Minimum Number of Participants: 25
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ADA Wheelchair “Field Trip”

Want to feel what access and ambulation are like from a wheelchair perspective? Join Topher Downham and an assortment of wheelchairs for a fun evening of wheelchair rolling, wheelies, and mastery. Experience firsthand what it is like to use a wheelchair as you maneuver through the hotel. Bring home tips on how to improve your sites to create a better more engaging experience for visitors with disabilities.

Time: 7:00–9:00pm
Cost: Free
Location: Meet on the Mezzanine Floor (level 5) at the Davenport Grand
Maximum Number of Participants: 14
Minimum Number of Participants: 7
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The Inaugural NAI 5K Fun Run

Get some exercise, meet new runner/walker friends, and most importantly, add another race T-shirt to your collection! Walk, run, jog, or sign up just for the shirt and skip the run altogether. This is your chance to be part of the inaugural NAI 5K Fun Run!

7:00am–[depends how fast you run!]
Cost: $20 (includes T-shirt)
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2017 NAI National Conference

Spokane, Washington

November 14-18, 2017



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