Museums are expected to have a formally stated and approved mission that states what the museum does, for whom, and why. A museum’s mission statement is the primary benchmark against which to evaluate the museum’s performance. It defines the museum’s unique identity and purpose, and provides a distinct focus for the institution. A mission statement articulates the museum’s understanding of its role and responsibility to the public and its collections, and reflects the environment in which it exists.
A Mission Statement is a Core Document and supports the Mission and Planning Core Standards.
- Asserts the museum’s public service role
- States why the museum exists and who benefits as a result of its efforts
- Bears date approved by the governing authority
- National Standards and Best Practices for U.S. Museums (free PDF for all museum members)
- Standards Regarding Institutional Mission Statements
- Mastering Your Museum’s Core Documents Toolkit (available for purchase)
- Mission Activity Guide
- Museum Mission Statements
- Required Elements of Education-Focused Mission Statement (recorded webinar)