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A Message from the Accreditation Commission Chair

April 16, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

In the unprecedented situation the world and museum field finds itself in, I’ve been amazed at your speed and creativity in finding alternative ways to continue to serve your communities and carry out your educational missions. I know you are all facing challenging situations, tough decisions, and a lot of unknowns, and this will continue for some time.

On behalf of the Accreditation Commission, I want to reassure you that we understand things are not business as usual, and therefore are exercising some flexibility when it comes to deadlines and process issues for museums that are currently in review or due to start their reaccreditation this year. Schedule changes will be made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with your Program Officer—so please reach out to them with any questions or concerns.

The Accreditation Commission will not be enforcing the eligibility requirement that your museum be physically open to the public for at least 1,000 hours a year. However, even in times of retrenchment and downsizing, we do expect that accredited museums are pursuing alternative ways to continue to carry out their missions and serve the public within the context of available resources; align with the ethical values of the field; and operate in the spirit of the Core Standards, even if how you are meeting them looks very different than it did a few months ago. As always, in our deliberations and decision-making, the Commission takes the full context of the museum’s situation into account.

For more detailed information on the impact of COVID-19 on accredited museums, including upcoming process deadlines, please see the Accreditation Program and COVID-19 FAQs and Guidance web page.

I also urge you to take advantage of AAM’s excellent COVID-19 Financial Relief and Resources page and the robust peer-to-peer conversations happening on Museum Junction’s open forum.

Thank you for the care and leadership you are bringing to your institution, your community, and to our field during this challenging time. I hope you and your staff, board, volunteers, and communities stay safe and well.

Most sincerely,

Amy Bartow-Melia
Accreditation Commission Chair
MacMillan Associate Director for Audience Engagement, National Museum of American History

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