The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) was founded in 1906 and now represents more than 4,000 museums of all types and sizes, and more than 21,000 museum professionals. The Alliance works on behalf of museums and museum professionals across the globe by developing standards and best practices and championing the cause of museums. We are proud to serve as a vital voice for museums everywhere, highlighting their roles as critical educational institutions, economic engines, community anchors and providers of many social services.
A unified field is essential to our collective success as we strive to realize our dual goals: Champion Museums. Nurture Excellence. The Alliance communicates the story of museums’ value through advocacy and provides programs that both nurture institutional excellence and advance museum professionals’ careers.
The Alliance is committed to partnering with museums and other organizations on international programs. We believe strong, lasting relationships between US and global museums will mutually benefit and advance excellence for all. AAM partners with global museums on core standards and best practices for museums and museum professionals.
Advancing Institutional and Individual Excellence
AAM works with global museums to foster excellence in support of organizational goals, this multifaceted program integrates institutional and individual excellence by:
- offering methods and resources for advancing institutional excellence
- providing staff with a fundamental knowledge of museums and museum practice
- offering opportunities for career development and peer-to-peer networking and mentoring
- promoting an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and best practices
- addressing critical issues and trends important to your organization
AAM partners with global museums on the Continuum of Excellence, a series of steps that helps museums reach higher levels of recognition.
We invite global museums and museum professionals to join AAM. Broad options make membership accessible to institutions and individuals of all income levels.
We encourage global museums to take the Pledge of Excellence: “The museum pledges that, in fulfillment of its educational mission, it will strive to operate according to national standards and best practices to the best of its abilities and in accordance with its resources.” The pledge demonstrates your museum’s commitment to good stewardship of resources held in the public trust.
This program uses a set of required elements to evaluate a museum’s five core documents: the mission statement, institutional code of ethics, strategic institutional plan, disaster preparedness/emergency response plan and collections management policy. Completion confirms that a US or global institution has an educational mission and that its policies and procedures follow best practices.
Accreditation offers US and global museums high-profile, peer-based validation of your institution’s operations and impact, increasing credibility and value to funders, policy makers, insurers, and your community and peers. It helps facilitate loans between institutions, especially international exhibit exchanges. Based on the Characteristics of Excellence, the core standards for museums, the accreditation process is centered on self-study and peer review and takes eight to 16 months to complete.
MAP helps museums of all types compare themselves against standards and improve operations through self-study and a consultative process (including site visit) conducted by a peer museum. Since 1981, MAP has served more than 4,600 museums, including global institutions.
The AAM Annual Meeting brings together more than 5,000 museum professionals, including hundreds of visitors from Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Middle East, India, China, Africa and Latin America. We encourage even more international museum professionals to join us. Attendees can follow sessions tagged as “global.” Some sessions are simultaneously interpreted into Mandarin and Spanish, and others can be added upon request and availability of resources.
AAM manages several grants that develop the strength of global museum professionals and relationships between US and global museums.
An initiative of the US Department of State and administered by AAM, this international exchange program helps communities work with museums to tackle timely social issues such as environmental sustainability, civil society formation, gender equality, and social inclusion and innovation. Museums Connect programs have enabled museums and communities to learn from each other in 26 states and over 45 countries.
With support from the Getty Foundation, fellowships allow non-US museum professionals to attend the AAM Annual Meeting and to participate in year-round professional development opportunities. Fellowships are available to museum professionals working in art museums from countries with developing or emerging economies.
AAM produces several internationally relevant thought leadership pieces each year through the Center for the Future of Museums
and Museum magazine
. Some of our leading publications have been translated into Arabic, Spanish or Mandarin, including:
In addition to existing US-global programs, we hope to develop mutually beneficial collaborative opportunities focusing on:
- Thought leadership
- US-global museum exchanges
- Museums and commerce
- Economic development
- Conflict resolution
- National identity and museums
- Leadership development for arts and culture organizations
- Non-museum cultural organization development
To learn more about AAM’s international programs, including collaboration opportunities, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1-202-218-7711.