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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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Strategies for Short-term Financial Survival

The museum sector is just beginning to assess the impact of closures, travel bans, cancellation of major events, and the implementation of social distancing. When you have time to take a …

TrendsWatch: Building Financial Resilience in a Time of Crisis

Here at the Alliance, we know that COVID-19 is inflicting severe damage on museums. Our sector is just beginning to assess the impact of closures, travel bans, cancellation of major events …

Using Scenarios to Plan Your Museum’s COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response

Update from Elizabeth (3-18-20): since I wrote this post last week, Spain and France announced lockdowns, President Trump recommended that people avoid gatherings of ten people or more, and …

Lessons from History: Museums and Pandemics

Museums around the world are striving to anticipate and respond to the impact coronavirus may have on their communities and their own operations. As you tackle this work in your own …

Workshopping the Future: Foresight in Hindsight

At AAM 2019 in New Orleans, I led a three-hour futuring workshop, teaching attendees how to conduct foresight activities at their own organizations. Katie Eagleton attended that workshop, …

#5WomenArtists Shaping Museum Practice

Museums are among the most trusted sources of information and can use that superpower of trust to nudge society towards preferred futures. Today on the blog, Amy Mannarino, Director of …

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