AAM Signs Collaborative Agreements with Museum Associations in China, Brazil

Partnerships Designed to Share Knowledge, Standards

WASHINGTON, DC (August 23,2013)—To further its goal of forging closer international ties between museums and those who work in them, the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) has signed cooperative agreements with the Chinese Museum Association (CMA) and the Brazilian Institute of Museums (IBRAM). Signed during the recent International Council of Museums (ICOM) conference in Rio de Janeiro, these partnerships will advance the development of professional training opportunities to promote a common understanding of best practices and core competencies in museums.

The agreement with CMA formalizes a working relationship between the two national museum bodies that began at the 2010 AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo in Los Angeles, rooted in translations into Mandarin of books from the AAM Press and a series of Annual Meeting sessions that were simultaneously interpreted for the Chinese delegation.  The Brazilian agreement is a new initiative for both organizations, the genesis of which was a close collaboration in advance of the ICOM gathering in Rio.

With both national organizations, AAM will provide professional development materials and conduct training workshops (both in-person and virtually) on an array of museum topics, ranging from ethical standards to collections management policies to exhibition creation, from conception to promotion and launch. A concerted effort will also be made to increase the participation of Chinese and Brazilian museum professionals in the AAM Annual Meeting, scheduled for Seattle in May of next year.

The promise of these agreements lies in the goal—shared by all three parties—of forging closer ties with our international colleagues and to share what is, among these national member organizations, a wealth of knowledge on museum standards and characteristics of excellence,” said Alliance president Ford W. Bell. “And the more museums around the world that can meet and exceed the highest standards of the field, the more we can ensure the long-term support of publics and governments everywhere.”

The formalizing of the CMA agreement provides a model for IBRAM and other national museum organizations. In the past, AAM experts – including members of the Accreditation Commission – have travelled to China to provide intense interactive workshops and seminars on best practices in museums.

The Alliance also has a close collaborative partnership with museum professionals in Saudi Arabia, particularly with the King Abdulaziz Center for World Cultures in Dhahran, a major AAM sponsor. A number of AAM books and professional development materials have been translated into Arabic, and Saudi museum leaders have welcomed Alliance experts and attended the AAM Annual Meeting the past three years.

AAM’s international programs also include Museums Connect, offering grants to create project partnerships between U.S. and international museums that promote cross-cultural understanding and community engagement. Museums Connect is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and is administered by AAM. To date, Museums Connect has brought these projects into 23 U.S. states and the District of Columbia and more than 40 nations.

Media Contact

Dewey Blanton