The new strategic plan of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) emphasizes the financial sustainability of museums, promoting diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion in all aspects of museum structure and programming and expanding the role of museums in the US education system.
Goals of the plan, announced May 2, include expanding thought leadership to inspire and influence innovation in the field and fostering a global exchange of museum practice, and placing greater emphasis on developing the next generation of museum leadership and strengthening museum governance through support for trustees. According to AAM, the plan builds upon a strong foundation of recent success including a nearly 70 percent increase in museum membership in the Alliance and a reemphasis on boosting and celebrating excellence in the field.
“This new plan focuses the Alliance on goals that advance our mission to champion museums and nurture excellence in partnership with our members and allies,” said Laura L. Lott, AAM president and CEO. “Our vision is a world informed and enriched by thriving museums. We will emphasize topics our members strongly believe are vital to the future viability, relevance and sustainability of museums.”
Alliance board member Dr. John Wetenhall, director of The George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum, led the board’s working group to develop the plan over the past 18 months. During that process, the board and staff gathered input from more than 500 AAM members and non-members via 30 formal listening sessions. “Having helped to craft both the previous and the new AAM strategic plans, I am pleased that the Alliance is focusing outward,” said Wetenhall. “Our last plan helped AAM strengthen its programs to support more museums during the post-recession era; this new plan promotes relevance and inclusion for even broader impact in the next five years.”
Kaywin Feldman, Alliance board chair since 2014 and the Duncan and Nivin MacMillan Director and President of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, pushed to ensure that the plan would include bold new goals. “Although the Alliance made great strides over the past five years, this is not the time to rest on our laurels,” Feldman said. “The museum field must tackle many difficult challenges, and the Alliance is leading the way because we’re stronger together.”
Since 2006 AAM has worked to serve the museum community in such areas as standards, information sharing and advocacy. More information about AAM’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan is available at aam-us.org/strategicplan.
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