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Recalculating, Recalculating...Using the Museum Assessment Program as Your Museum’s GPS on the Road to Excellence



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Does your museum need budget-friendly directions to improve its community engagement, address challenges with collections, strengthen its educational activities, align operations overall, or hone its governance for greater leadership potential? The Museum Assessment Program can give your museum the best route to reach your destination. Hear about the new and revised assessment options, as well as about the benefits, experience, and results of MAP from recent participants. Fuel up to apply for this IMLS-funded excellence program today.

Recalculating, Recalculating...Using the Museum Assessment Program as Your Museum’s GPS on the Road to Excellence

  1. 1. Recalculating, Recalculating...​ Using the Museum Assessment Program (MAP) As Your Museum’s GPS on the Road to Excellence serving small & mid-sized museums since 1981 in partnership with IMLS
  2. 2. Susan Zwerling Museum Assessment Program Officer American Alliance of Museums Michelle Banks President, Board of Directors African American FireFighter Museum Laura Nice Director of Special Projects Janet Turner Print Museum California State University Chico
  3. 3. • Overview of MAP • Two Museum Case Studies • Two Questions • Open Discussion
  5. 5. Why Assessments? • Facilitate working together • Re-energize boards and staff • Establish shared goals and priorities • Build community credibility and support • Provide non-judgmental support • Improve confidence
  6. 6. MAP Museums can be… • Children’s Museums • University Museums • Specialized Museums • Zoos & Aquariums • Tribal Museums • Science Centers • Nature Centers • Botanical Gardens • Art Museums • History Museums
  7. 7. • Self Assessment • Peer Reviewer • Site Visit • Assessment Report • Year Long Commitment MAP Components
  8. 8. MAP Assessment Types •Organizational •Board Leadership (New!) •Collections Stewardship •Education & Interpretation (New!) •Community & Audience Engagement
  9. 9. • Submit Application • Complete Workbook, Activities & Online Modules as a Team • Undergo a Site Visit • Take Actions Steps all year • Review Assessment Report & make Action Plans Process & Timeline
  10. 10. • Nonprofit (private or public) • At least one professional staff or FTE • Located in a U.S. state or territory • Open at least 90 days a year • Care for/owns/uses tangible objects for exhibition • AAM membership is not required Eligibility
  11. 11. • $125,000 or less $300 • $125,000 – $400,000 $500 • $400,000 – $1 mil $700 • $1.1 mil – $5 mil $1000 • Greater than $5 mil $1500 Fees
  12. 12. •Over 5,000 museums have participated in MAP since 1981 • Over one-third have participated more than once • 60% of Alliance Accredited museums have participated in MAP Impact
  13. 13. Impact
  14. 14. Impact
  15. 15. •Sample (pdf) Now Available • Online Application is Open •Deadline: December 1, 2019 Application
  16. 16. Burning Brightly: Building A Practice of Organizational Sustainability African American Firefighter Museum Los Angeles, California Presented by: Michelle Banks, MA, EMT-P
  17. 17. Burning Brightly: Building A Practice of Organizational Sustainability Mission: Collect, preserve and share the heritage of African-American Firefighters through education and collaboration. Organization: Volunteer, donation-driven non-profit Founded: 1997 Location: Historic Los Angeles Fire Station #30 LA City Historic-Cultural Monument #289 National Register of Historic Places Grants: Institute of Museum and Library Science American Alliance of Museums (2014 – 2018) • Museum Assessment Programs-1 – 3 & CE 2nd Visit Follow-up Annenberg Foundation Capacity Grants Catchafire, Taproot Foundation, & UCLA Social Enterprise Academy African American Firefighter Museum
  18. 18. Burning Brightly: Building A Practice of Organizational Sustainability MAP - A Powerful Alignment and Engagement Tool MAP Recommendation Collection Stewardship – Policy & Conservation Organizational Assessment – Capacity Building Community Engagement - Triples & Tourism Alignment Common Language Framework Museum Best Practice Standard Core Document Production Collaboration Museum Resources Sustainability Partnership Engagement Triples Target Audience Tourism
  19. 19. Goal Enhance long-term sustainability and stewardship Recalculating: It is a Process! Resilience Adaptability Alignment Common language for Board of Directors, Advisory Council & Docent Volunteers Collaboration Annenberg Foundation Funded Consultant & MAP- Community Engagement 2nd Follow-up Visit Implementation Burning Brightly: Building A Practice of Organizational Sustainability
  20. 20. Goal Enhance long-term sustainability and stewardship Sustainability Annenberg Foundation Funded Consultant, MAP & UCLA SEA New Operating Model Social Enterprise Website Redesign Brand Refresh Inspired Engagement Unpack and expand storylines Activate new & existing volunteers Activate community partnership & participation Implementation Burning Brightly: Building A Practice of Organizational Sustainability
  21. 21. Thank You! Michelle Banks, MA, EMT-P President, Board of Directors African American Firefighter Museum Email:
  22. 22. The Janet Turner Print Museum at California State University Chico Who we are: A print museum founded in 1981 by artist and professor Janet Turner, with a collection of over 4,000 prints spanning six centuries, by artists from more than 40 countries. What we do: The museum is free and open to the public, and mounts unique exhibitions, programming, and outreach events that showcases the collection and trends in printmaking. The archive is available for individual or group study.
  23. 23. MAP Organizational Assessments: 2001-2002; 2017-2018 Key findings from 2017-2018: • The Self-Study Workbook and Peer Reviewer’s site visit facilitated productive conversations with stakeholders, clarified museum priorities and made visible the distinct roles of university faculty/staff members and the community-based advisory board of directors • Helped create a culture of professional museum practices by updating key documents • Provided momentum to strategic planning and fundraising efforts, and increased a spirit of collaboration
  24. 24. Founder Janet Turner (1914-1988) Outcomes: • Leveraged MAP Final Report to increase curator position to full time/12 month • Clarification of key priorities in Self-Study Workbook helped identify grant opportunities • Museum received a 2-year $100,000 grant from Henry Luce Foundation to digitize the collection • Increased profile on campus and in the community • Strategic planning efforts 2018-Present • Updated Mission Statement • Clarified priorities • Energized stakeholders • Benchmarks for success
  25. 25. Te “Going through the Museum Assessment Program was enlightening. As a board member I thought I knew the workings of our museum, but this process really gave me further insight. Most importantly the conversations that we had because of MAP made our priorities clear and created an exciting path to future growth.” -Advisory Board Member
  26. 26. “MAP energized our community of stakeholders and gave us a strong understanding of our identity and the places we want to focus our attention. Because of MAP we have plans for increased community engagement and have powerful leverage to grow the program, including the elevation of staff positions.” -Museum Staff Member
  27. 27. Our next steps: • Collections Stewardship Assessment • Community & Audience Engagement Assessment • Accreditation
  28. 28. ➢ How Did You Get Buy-in From Your Stakeholders? ➢ What is One Tip or Piece of Advice You Would Give Other Museums Considering MAP?
  29. 29. •Sample (pdf) Now Available • Online Application is Open •Deadline: December 1, 2019 Application
  30. 30. Questions? Susan Zwerling, Museum Assessment Program Officer​ AAM 202-218-7714​ Michelle Banks, Board President African American FireFighter Museum​ Laura Nice, Director of Special Projects​ Janet Turner Print Museum​ California State University Chico​