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Building a More Just and Equitable World: Introducing AAM’s 2022-2025 Strategic Framework

Category: Alliance Blog
A graphic reading "2022-2025 Strategic Framework" with a sidebar reading "Priorities: Social & Community Impact, DEAI & Anti-racism, The Museum Community, and The Way We Work."
Inspired by the triumphs and challenges of the museum field over the past few years, AAM's new Strategic Framework maps out a plan to help rebuild the museum community with intention and impact.

The museum field, like society at large, is at a pivotal moment of reflection and rebuilding. As the collective museum community, the choices we make in the coming months and years about what and how to rebuild will set our field’s course for decades. It is a time for deep introspection, active and inclusive listening, and bold steps to help build a more just and equitable world.

The American Alliance of Museums is poised to bring the broad museum field together, inspire leadership at all levels, and rebuild a strong and sustainable sector. To guide our next steps, we are delighted to introduce the 2022-2025 Strategic Framework.

For a year, the AAM staff, board, and other volunteer leaders have engaged in dialogue with the field. We have heard from members and non-members alike through thousands of survey responses and numerous small group discussions. We have examined museum professionals’ key areas of interest and concern in blog posts, session proposals, and community forums. And, with the help of our pro bono partners at McKinsey & Company, we have engaged in analyses and “deep dive” workshops to determine how we—as an Alliance—can best advance the museum field.

AAM’s 2022-2025 Strategic Framework aims to support transformative field-wide work in partnership with our members, partners, and allies.

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We will bolster our Alliance’s role in supporting, celebrating, and convening the broad scope of the museum community and rigorously examine ways we model best practices in the fieldwide programs we administer and our internal operations. The full plan document details our four priorities and summarize strategies for each.

During our strategic planning process, we drew inspiration from the field itself, as we witnessed the tremendous power of the museum community over the past few years. We were proud to support museum professionals in advancing their museums’ missions, as they also addressed unprecedented community and societal needs. While museums provided important exhibitions and programming that deepened understanding, facilitated dialogue, and fostered empathy, they also became more integral to their communities’ responses to the global pandemic, racial tensions, extreme weather, and divisive national politics, among other challenges. While museum professionals elevated science, authentic artifacts, and primary sources of information, helping their communities explore nuance and context in a world of complex challenges, they also provided virtual education, donated PPE and food from their gardens, activated civic engagement and voting, combatted disinformation, and educated the public about COVID-19, vaccines and climate change. As museums modeled resilience and achievement, they also helped the public wrestle with our country’s complex history of racism and colonialism. Museums have shown themselves to be essential community infrastructure in their service as schools, warming shelters, ballot drop-off and vaccination sites, and places of respite, safety, and inspiration.

At the same time, a variety of trends have accelerated in recent years, disrupting traditional business models, calling on us to examine the inequities of our workplaces and governance structures, and demanding we be more transparent, empathetic, and collaborative than ever before. While much has been accomplished towards building more diverse, equitable, accessible, inclusive, and anti-racist museums, there is still much left to be done.

Our 2022-2025 Strategic Framework takes inspiration from the resilient mosaic of museums and museum professionals and the critical work that lies ahead. We are honored to serve the field and hope you will join us!

Próximamente la versión en español.

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