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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-us.org.

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  • 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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Collecteurs: Social Responsibility and Accessible Art

Regular readers of this blog know that I’m always on the hunt for museum-like organizations that live just slightly outside the traditional museum sphere. Such business can illuminate …

Trading Labor for Food

As I revisit my “diary of the future” from a decade ago, I find myself examining how my speculative vision of 2019 has converged with or diverged from reality. Some of my …

When a Private Museum has Massive Public Support

Even before the 2008 financial collapse only 56 percent of museums received support from local government, and that funding made up about 10 percent of their overall operating budget. The …

From For-Profit to Nonprofit: Evolution of the International Spy Museum

Next up in my exploration of museum business models, a conversation with Tamara Christian, president of the International Spy Museum. The Spy Museum is the first museum I’ve found that has …

In Which Penny and Frank Wash Up at the Villa

The best part of futuring is inviting other folks to play along. For the fifth entry in my 2008 diary of the future, I recruited my real-life companions to contribute to the plot, and they …

(Co)Working in a Museum

In a 2017 post on this blog, Tui Te Hau, the director of the Te Papa museum’s Mahuki innovation accelerator, offered some advice for museums considering starting their own coworking spaces. …

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