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TrendsWatch 2016: Identity and the 21st Century Museum

Category: Press Release
Cover of TrendsWatch 2016


March 1, 2016

ARLINGTON, VA–Today the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) released TrendsWatch 2016, an annual report that summarizes museum trends identified through research conducted by the Center for the Future of Museums (CFM). Widely regarded as a key resource for the museum field, the fifth edition of TrendsWatch is free to the public and available for download online.

“This year’s TrendsWatch has a unifying theme,” said CFM Founding Director Elizabeth Merritt. “The topics that emerged from my scanning last year all revolve around Identity: who we are, how we are defined by society, how we empathize with others—even the basic meaning of being human.”

The 2016 trends include:

  • Labor 3.0: new jobs, or a jobless future?
  • More Than Human: extending the spectrum of ability
  • Me/We/Here/There: museums and the matrix of place-based augmented devices
  • Capture the Flag: the struggle over representation & identity
  • Happiness: because you get what you measure

TrendsWatch 2016 is made possible with generous support from Aon, Blackbaud, Huntington T. Block, PGAV Destinations, and Schultz & Williams.

About the Center for the Future of Museums

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The Center for the Future of Museums (CFM) is an initiative of the American Alliance of Museums.  CFM helps museums shape a better tomorrow by exploring cultural, technological, political and economic trends of importance to museums; equips museums to help their communities address the challenges of coming decades; and builds connections between museums and other sectors.

About the American Alliance of Museums

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. Representing more than 30,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance is the only organization representing the entire scope of the broad museum community. For more information, visit


Press Contact:

Joseph Klem
Phone: 202-218-7670

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