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Center for the Future of Museums

Understanding that the dynamic nature of our cultural, political, and economic landscape directly affects how we interact with museums, the Center for the Future of Museums (CFM) helps museums navigate the future.

The Center for the Future of Museums, in collaboration with our community, works to

  • Monitor cultural, technological, political and economic trends that matter to museums
  • Equip museums to help their communities address future challenges
  • Build strong connections among museums and educational, corporate, civic, nonprofit, and government organizations

Learn more about the work of the Center of the Future of Museums:

CFM Blog—read frequent posts about emerging ideas from CFM director Elizabeth Merritt and numerous guest authors

TrendsWatch—an annual digital and print forecasting report.

Building the Future of Education

Bring the future to your museum or conference

At the Alliance, we love the opportunity to engage with our community face-to-face. Each year we make time for CFM staff to “take the show on the road,” via lectures and workshops.

 CFM’s founder and director Elizabeth Merritt is available for a limited number of engagements. For more information visit our Speakers Bureau and read about our current areas of focus for lectures and workshops.

Fees depend on the length and nature of the presentation, and Alliance member museums receive a discount. These paid engagements help underwrite the free content CFM provides including TrendsWatch, our weekly e-newsletter Dispatches from the Future, and the CFM Blog.

If you would like to invite Elizabeth to speak at your museum or conference, contact us at emerritt (at)

AAM Member-Only Content

AAM Members get exclusive access to premium digital content including:

  • Featured articles from Museum magazine
  • Access to more than 1,500 resource listings from the Resource Center
  • Tools, reports, and templates for equipping your work in museums
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FIRE! Providing Comfort in a Moment of Crisis

Museums make their communities better, stronger, and more resilient in myriad ways. Some of these are directly related to their missions: enriching local education, improving health and …

An Investment in Our Collective Future: Building for Staff Advancement from the Inside Out

With the worst of pandemic disruptions behind us (we hope) some museums are using this as an opportunity to rethink their operations, rather than simply rebounding to the previous norm. …

What Does It Mean to be Trustworthy?

On September 30, the Alliance released Museums and Trust 2021, the latest research to measure public trust in US museums. It was reassuring, though not surprising, that the results confirm …

The Mind Behind the Myth: Navigating visitor reactions at Kew Palace

During the pandemic, museums supported the mental health of their communities in creative and generous ways. Some created outdoor art installations to boost the spirits of people in nursing …

Museum Staff as Disaster Service Workers

Last month I put out a call on Museum Junction for examples of museums helping their communities plan for and respond to disasters. Among the many exceptional stories submitted by …

Exploring Museums and Trust 2021

The 2019 edition of TrendsWatch took a deep dive into the topic of trust, summarizing the global “trust deficit” and its effect on society. The subject was of particular importance to …

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