AAM Announces $1 Million Investment in the Museum Community

The AAM team is thrilled to launch a $1 million investment in an expanded Museum Community professional development and networking program.

The AAM team is thrilled to launch a $1 million investment in an expanded Museum Community professional development and networking program. Beginning as early as this summer and over the next several years, this investment will deliver new AAM member benefits including expanded opportunities for the museum community to connect and learn from each other, obtain professional training, and participate in national leadership and volunteer opportunities for personal and professional growth.

“The Alliance’s Strategic Framework prioritizes investment in the hard-working museum professionals who make their museums, communities, and our world a better place.

AAM is excited to begin the rollout of expanded member programs, which will be accessible to all of the Alliance’s 35,000 museums and museum professionals who are eager to grow and make new connections.”

Laura Lott, AAM President and CEO

We have received feedback from thousands of you over several years about how to celebrate, strengthen, and connect the museum community in all its diversity while centering our commitment to equity and inclusion. Three areas of focus were consistently cited by museum professionals as top needs:

  1. deepening the ability to connect with peers across the field
  2. expanding professional development programs
  3. broadening access to volunteer opportunities through the Alliance

Over the next few months and years, you can expect massive improvements to the AAM member experience and the benefits you receive as a part of our Alliance. Below, you’ll find a preview of what’s to come in the months and years ahead.

Deepening the ability to connect with peers across the field


Many museum professionals have expressed that they often feel like they’re working on an island—a sentiment only deepened by a period of pandemic isolation—and don’t always have the knowledge and resources within their organizations to help them get through daily challenges. After a time of radical disruption and many changes facing the museum field, our community needs opportunities for connection now more than ever before.

This year:
We plan to expand our current platform, Museum Junction, to serve as a thriving hub for the field; providing connection 24/7, 365 days a year around job functions and topics that are critical to the future of our field. You can expect a few of these expanded virtual communities to be piloted in the coming months.

What’s ahead:
We know that every connection can make a huge difference in your career.

We’re exploring opportunities to expand connection and networking beyond the chatroom as well, including developing communities of practice and expanding mentorship opportunities.

Use the slider above to compare the current version of Museum Junction with a mock-up of its future as a thriving hub for the field.

Foster deeper connections between all museum professionals while promoting diversity within the industry. Become a nexus where museum employees can interact from different museums.

Comments from the AAM Audience Survey in response to how AAM can better support their needs
Expanding professional development programs

Professional Development

The AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo is one of the most critical opportunities for our field to come together and learn from one another. While it remains the largest annual in-person gathering of the museum field in the world, most of our members are not able to participate in any given year. To help close that gap, we’re investing in year-round, accessible professional development programming to help museum professionals grow, expand their skills, and address the most challenging issues facing our field.

This year:
Expect some major upgrades to our member resources in the coming weeks including a redesigned resource library and a few new on-demand programs.

Plus, later this year, we’ll be piloting our first fall virtual event and building a team committed to your professional development. More information coming soon!

What’s ahead:
Using data and feedback from over 10,000 people across the field, we are creating a robust year-round professional development program supported by an intuitive learning management system.

Additionally, we are experimenting with badging so you can show what you’ve learned to prospective employers.

Percent of survey respondents cited a need to access more professional development resources through AAM.

On-demand learning allows you to learn at your own pace, access resources when you need them most, and enhance your own professional development through membership.

Three New Jersey advocates participate in Museums Advocacy Day.

Create opportunities and training for emerging museum professionals as well as continuing education and updates for seasoned professionals.

Comments from the AAM Audience Survey in response to how AAM can better support their needs
Broadening access to volunteer opportunities through the Alliance

Volunteer Opportunities

Our volunteers are museum professionals who go above and beyond, engaging in opportunities to select Annual Meeting sessions and book proposals, conducting Accreditation site visits, and building professional networks. Volunteers have told us time and again how, through their volunteer service, they develop and grow new personal connections, enhance their job prospects, and demonstrate leadership in the field. However, we’ve also been told that volunteer opportunities with AAM feel opaque; many members don’t know how to engage or feel welcome in existing structures; and volunteers often don’t feel adequately recognized for their service.

We are creating a comprehensive volunteer program that prioritizes transparency, equity, and inclusion, allowing all members to tap into volunteer opportunities in a way that is authentic and meaningful for you – and recognizes you for your national leadership and service.

This year:
This past year, we piloted our first open call for Content Advisory Committee members, the volunteer group that selects session proposals for the Annual Meeting. We were floored by the number of responses we received to this call, demonstrating the need to continue expanding these opportunities. Over the next few months, we’re using the lessons we learned as part of this process to build out a new volunteer program and are hiring a dedicated Volunteer and Member Engagement Manager to provide the expertise and guidance needed for a robust and sustainable program.

What’s ahead:
Opportunities for volunteering and contributing to the field’s thought leadership will be seamlessly integrated into the member experience.

In the coming year, you will be able to express your interest in volunteering and areas of expertise directly into your membership profile.

Plus, every volunteer deserves recognition for their contributions, and we’ll be looking for ways to celebrate them among their peers.

Group of volunteers
What have AAM volunteers and contributors said about their experiences?

Volunteering with AAM gave me networking opportunities, including the opportunity to go to conferences and participate in more professional development.

I was able to garner more recognition in the field which led to speaking engagements and widening of my network.

It was definitely a resume builder for me and my career, and helped me gain recognition both personally and for my institution at the time.

I gained credibility in my role at my institution and my contributions helped upper administration acknowledge the work I am doing has impact and value.

Volunteering helped me strengthen my network of colleagues and increased my credibility when applying for jobs.

I was recognized as a thought leader and felt more engaged with AAM.

Museum Community Investment

We look forward to keeping you up to date on the progress of this exciting investment.
Learn more using the resources below, sign up for updates, or share your feedback with us!

Learn More in the FAQ

Group of volunteers

Have questions about what this investment could mean for you? Browse our FAQ to learn more and visit this page regularly for updates.

Share Your Feedback

Do you have feedback about our investment in the Museum Community? Use our quick feedback form to share your thoughts with our team.

Strategic Framework

A graphic reading "2022-2025 Strategic Framework" with a sidebar reading "Priorities: Social & Community Impact, DEAI & Anti-racism, The Museum Community, and The Way We Work."

Our Strategic Framework includes an emphasis on bolstering our role in supporting, celebrating, and convening the broad scope of the museum field.

an adult roaring at a child in front of a dinosaur skeleton

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