Projects and Reports



CFM’s annual TrendsWatch report explores emerging trends of great significance to museums.

Museums and Creative Aging: A Healthful Partnership

This landmark report on Museums and Creative Aging is a call to action for museums to change the narrative about what it means to grow old in America.

Museums and the Future of Education

The U.S. educational system is on the cusp of transformational change. CFM explores the role museums can play in the next era of learning through a series of reports and papers about Museums and the Future of Education.

Tomorrow in the Golden State

Tomorrow in the Golden State is a museum-forecasting resource guide from the working session, “Forecasting the Future of California Museums,” held between the California Association of Museums and CFM during the 2010 AAM Annual Meeting.

Demographic Transformation and the Future of Museums

Commissioned from the Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago, Demographic Transformation and the Future of Museums explores the majority-minority future of America and issues a call to action for museums to better serve their rapidly diversifying communities.

Museums & Society 2034 Trends and Potential Futures

In 2008, CFM commissioned its first discussion paper, Museums & Society 2034 Trends and Potential Futures, exploring the challenges that society and museums will face in the next quarter-century, especially in the areas of demographic change, globalization, new forms of telecommunication and new expectations about narrative and the consumption of culture. The report was prepared by Reach Advisors, a marketing strategy and research firm with extensive experience in the museum field, in consultation with CFM staff and outside experts.


Feeding the Spirit: Museums, Food and Community

Feeding the Spirit: Museums, Food and Community explores how museums can promote food literacy, make their food services healthy and sustainable, and use food to build community.

Forecasting the Future of Museum Ethics

The Center for the Future of Museums conducted a Delphi forecasting exercise in partnership with Seton Hall University’s Institute of Museum Ethics on Forecasting the Future of Museum Ethics, with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Towards a New Mainstream?

Video of the 2009 lecture “Towards a New Mainstream?” by Gregory Rodriguez, founder and executive director of Zócalo Public Square, explores demographic shifts in the Americas, cultural transformation and the future of museums. Accompanied by a resource guide.

Gaming the Future of Museums

Dr. Jane McGonigal, director of game research and development, Institute for the Future, challenges museums to become as engaging as games in Gaming the Future of Museums. Read the accompanying Museum magazine article.


Museums and Creative Aging

Mark your calendar for November 5 & 6, 2020, and plan to join us for a national convening to explore how museums can play a vital role in creative aging. This conference will bring together people working in museums and in sectors supporting aging populations, academics, and creatives. This two-day conference is filled with inspiring keynote speakers, lively panel discussions, interactive sessions, and networking events. Practitioners from across these sectors will learn about each other’s work, share information on the latest research and best practices, and lay the foundations for future partnerships and projects. Join us in Atlanta to create the future of creative aging!

Immersion in Museums: AR, VR, or Just Plain R?

Thought leaders in the museum and tech spheres gathered for a meeting in Detroit, Michigan to explore immersive experiences. Keynotes were presented by two Meow Wolf co-founders, Vince Kadlubek, CEO, and Golda Blaise as well as Maureen Towey who produced the New York Time’s Daily 360. For more information about the event, please visit Immersion in Museums: AR, VR, or Just Plain R? where you will find details about the event, recordings of the keynote presentations, a primer about immersive experiences for download, and related posts.

Museums and New Intelligences

AAM’s follow-up to “Immersion in Museums: AR, VR, or Just Plain R?”, “Museums and New Intelligences” gathered another group of museum and technology thought leaders in Miami, Florida to investigate artificial intelligence (AI) and its applications and implications for the museum field. Keynotes were presented by Kristen Summers from IBM Watson, and Surya Mattu, an artist, journalist, and engineer. For more information about the event, please visit Museums and New Intelligences where you will find details about the event, recordings of the keynote presentations, a primer about AI for download, and related posts.

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