September 1, 2015

The American Alliance of Museums Small Museums Accreditation Academy Application Period Now Open

Academy serves as launch pad toward Accreditation

WASHINGTON, DCThe American Alliance of Museums (AAM) announces the opening of the Small Museums Accreditation Academy application period today.

The Academy—a new initiative funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and guided by a
15-member Advisory Panel of leaders in the museum field—is a year-long readiness program to make museum standards, accreditation and assessment programs more accessible to America’s small museums. At the end of the program, a museum will emerge with a stronger culture of excellence and be poised to apply for Accreditation.

“The NEA is pleased to have supported AAM in the expansion of accreditation opportunities for smaller museums,” said Wendy Clark, NEA
Director of Museums, Visual Arts, and Indemnity. “The program will provide participating museums with a clear road map to improve their credibility and value through accreditation.”

“I’m so proud of the esteemed
Advisory Panel  that we have assembled to help us create this opportunity for small museums, and I applaud them for offering their expertise to our field,” said Alliance President and Chief Executive Officer Laura L. Lott. “A full 70 percent of our member museums are small museums. We designed this program to help museums with limited staff and resources prepare to apply for accreditation, a true mark of distinction.”

The Academy is a guided online experience combining live sessions, mentoring and collaborative activities for both board members and staff at small museums. This program is aimed at museums with approximately five or fewer staff that have Accreditation as a goal.

The application deadline for the Academy is November 1. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance into the Academy on January 8, 2016, and will be set to begin the program in 2016. Ten museums will be selected to comprise the pilot group.


The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. The Alliance is proud to represent 30,000 museums, individuals, and corporate partners and is dedicated to ensuring that museums remain a vital part of our communities, connecting people with the greatest achievements of the human experience, past, present and future. For more information, visit

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Erica Nash-Thomas
(240) 535-6548