Tag Archives: Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums

A Mixed Prognosis for Regional Museum Associations

In the United States, museums are served by six regional museum associations that are associated (allied?) with the American Alliance of Museums (AAM):

While AAM is doing well with about $10 million in annual revenues and net assets of $2 million, the regional museum associations are much much smaller by comparison. Their annual revenues range from $70,000 to $600,000, which is 1-7% of AAM’s annual revenues (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Chart of revenues for regional museum associations in the US, FY 2014-16.

That might be acceptable given these associations serve a few states rather than all 50, but a further analysis of their financial condition in fiscal years 2014-2016 suggests that their health is decidedly mixed: Continue reading

Historic House Museum Sustainability at MAAM

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It’s unclear if most historic house museums will be able to move beyond traditional approaches based upon the discussion at yesterday’s, “There is Power In a Union: Collaboration and Sustainability in Historic House Museums.” At the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums annual meeting, Frank Vagnone of the New York Historic House Trust moderated the session with a panel of five representatives of the National Trust’s Historic Artists’ Home and Studios program and about 35 people in attendance.  Although Vagnone encouraged the group to focus on collaborations that earned significant income to sustain the museum, examples from the audience kept falling short.  Anything that provided some revenue (such as school groups or small grants) or increased attendance (even if it was shortlived or unrelated) were held up as acceptable partnerships.  The audience discussed the value of serving school groups, the need to use social media, the declining relevance of museums, and the challenge of obtaining grants from local banks, but no one was Continue reading