Tag Archives: American Association of Museums

Resources for Historic Sites from the American Alliance of Museums

The American Alliance of Museums (formerly known as the American Association of Museums) is offering several resources and workshops that may be interest to historic sites, including:

TrendsWatch 2013: Upcoming Town Hall
This year’s edition of TrendsWatch, the annual report on key social, economic, technological and other trends that are shaping the future of museums, will be released next month.  You can also learn about it at the Alliance’s Web-based Town Hall on March 27 at 2 pm ET, which will be hosted by their Center for the Future of Museums.  Registration is free for Alliance members, and will open soon.  Meanwhile, read (or re-read) TrendsWatch 2012 for a taste of the future.

2012 National Comparative Museum Salary Study Available
A national salary study has long been a top request from Alliance members. Demonstrating that we’re stronger together, the 2012 study was prepared in collaboration with the Association of Midwest Museums (AMM), the Mountain-Plains Museums Association (MPMA), the New England Museum Association (NEMA) and the Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) and based on surveys conducted in their regions. Together, these associations represent 36 states, 64 percent of the American population and approximately two-thirds of all museums in the United States. Available free to Continue reading

AAM Unveils New Logo, Name, and Attitude

AAM logos: old and new

Today, the American Association of Museums becomes the American Alliance of Museums, which may appear at first to be merely a cosmetic change ushered in by a marketing consultant, but actually signals some significant changes in attitude.  Those of us in the history field often felt like outsiders at AAM, which seemed to be dominated by art museums, our classier and richer cousins.  But take look at the new AAM and you may find two major changes that may appeal to history organizations:

1.  Accreditation becomes the end Continue reading

Challenges and Opportunities Facing Historic Sites and House Museums

This fall I’ll be teaching the historic site and house museum interpretation class in the Museum Studies Program at George Washington University.  Department Chair Kym Rice graciously offered me this opportunity earlier this summer and I couldn’t resist.  I’ve been impressed by the caliber of GW students and I count many of their graduates among my friends and colleagues.  Today is the first class and participating are fifteen graduate students, mostly in museum studies with a handful from history and anthropology.  We will  have some fun discussions!

During the next few months, I’ll share my experiences with you and I thought I’d start by laying out the initial readings for the course, which focus on the opportunities and challenges in interpreting historic sites.  It was hard to pick and choose among Continue reading

Benchmark Your Museum’s Performance–Free!

Wondering how your museum or historic site is performing compared to others?  Is your admission fee to high or too low?  Is your membership retention rate better than average?  Do similar organizations have the same size staff?  Do you need credible data to make your case for your museum’s needs to your board, members, or city council?

Sample benchmarking chart in PowerPoint.

It’s nearly impossible to find these answers unless you buy an industry-wide survey (usually years out of date) or are part of an informal network committed to sharing data.  But help has come, and it’s free (mostly).  The American Association of Museums has moved and expanded its Museum Financial Information survey to a secure online tool, Museum Benchmarking Online (MBO) (www.aam-us.org/MBO).  MBO is a quick, easy way to support your cause and helps AAM better advocate for museums and historic sites across the nation.

Go to www.aam-us.org/MBO for details, including a list of the Continue reading