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Professional Networks

A group of 11 people from EdCom posing in front of the AAM offices

Update on AAM Professional Networks:

AAM Professional Networks are twenty groups of peers from across the museum field organized around job functions, common areas of interest, or identity.

Since the PN structure was developed fifty years ago, the field, AAM, and the needs of AAM’s PN members have changed tremendously. Since 2018, AAM and its Professional Networks have engaged in multiple surveys, task forces, and working groups of PN leaders and AAM members, receiving significant feedback about AAM’s current models for volunteer leadership and opportunities for connection, including the structural model of professional networks themselves. This feedback highlighted that PN leaders found the current model didn’t serve their needs, and that many individual members couldn’t find their place within the current structure. Members wanted more on-demand opportunities for connection with their peers, greater transparency, and access to volunteer leadership opportunities that make the best use of their valuable time and expertise.

In addition, the pandemic and other crises of the past few years have taught us all a lot about connecting and learning in new ways and challenged us to prioritize more equitable, inclusive, human-centered programs and policies.

As part of our 2022-2025 Strategic Framework, this feedback and lessons learned are being assessed and programs improved to meet our field’s needs. In 2022, a working group (comprised of current and previous PN chairs and facilitated by Mariner Management, an association consultancy with deep experience in creating successful member communities) assessed the current Professional Network structure and recommended opportunities for changes.

The recommendations have created the next steps that will live up to our charge to better support the needs of our field, center equity in everything that we do, and prioritize people over processes and systems. We are excited that our $1 million investment into the museum community will support the opportunities for volunteering, connecting, and professional development that members have been asking for.

Read about our $1 million investment into the museum community, and learn more in the FAQs.

List of Professional Networks

Committee on Audience Research and Evaluation (CARE): audience research and evaluation and the voice of the visitor in all aspects of museum operations

Collections Stewardship (CS-AAM): issues in registration, collections management, and collections care (formerly Registrars and Art Handling networks)

Curators Committee (CurCom): curatorial practice and collections research, care, and exhibition

Development and Membership (DAM): development, fundraising, and membership

Diversity Committee (DivCom): the advancement of diversity and inclusion

Education Committee (EdCom): the advancement and understanding of learning theories, educational practices, and programming

Environment and Climate Network (ECN): environmentally sustainable practices in museums

Historic Houses and Sites Network (HHSN): issues common and unique to historic houses

Independent Museum Professionals (IMP): serving the needs of independent professionals and museums that work with them

Indigenous Peoples Museum Network: fosters engaging and inclusive dialogue on the range of issues relevant to museums and indigenous peoples

Latino Network: for the needs of Latino and Latin American professionals and the interests of those professionals who work in interpreting Latino issues

Leadership and Management: leadership, governance, administration, finance, and human resources

LGBTQ+ Alliance: facilitates the visibility and awareness of gender and sexual minorities—including but not limited to asexual, bisexual, gay, intersex, lesbian, transgender, queer, and questioning people

Media & Technology: use of media and technology to meet the museum’s public mission

Museum Studies Network (MSN): professional preparation, training, and development of museum staff (formerly COMPT)

National Association for Museum Exhibition (NAME): exhibit development and design

Public Relations and Marketing Network (PRAM): public relations and marketing

Security Network: security, fire, health, and safety issues

Small Museum Administrators Committee (SMAC): the advancement of small museums

Traveling Exhibitions Network (TEN): the specialized area of traveling exhibitions

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