Partnerships Designed to Share Knowledge,Standards
August 23, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC—To further its goal of forging closer international ties betweenmuseums and those who work in them, the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) hassigned cooperative agreements with the Chinese Museum Association (CMA) and theBrazilian Institute of Museums (IBRAM). Signed during the recent InternationalCouncil of Museums (ICOM) conference in Rio de Janeiro, these partnerships will advance thedevelopment of professional training opportunities to promote a commonunderstanding of best practices and core competencies in museums.
The agreement with CMA formalizes a workingrelationship between the two national museum bodies that began at the 2010 AAMAnnual Meeting & MuseumExpo in Los Angeles, rooted in translations into Mandarin of booksfrom the AAM Press and a series of Annual Meeting sessions that weresimultaneously interpreted for the Chinese delegation. The Brazilian agreement is a new initiativefor both organizations, the genesis of which was a close collaboration inadvance of the ICOM gathering in Rio.
With both national organizations, AAM willprovide professional development materials and conduct training workshops (bothin-person and virtually) on an array of museum topics, ranging from ethicalstandards to collections management policies to exhibition creation, fromconception to promotion and launch. A concerted effort will also be made toincrease the participation of Chinese and Brazilian museum professionals in theAAM Annual Meeting, scheduled for Seattlein May of next year.
The promise of these agreements lies in thegoal—shared by all three parties—of forging closer ties with our internationalcolleagues and to share what is, among these national member organizations, awealth of knowledge on museum standards and characteristics of excellence,”said Alliancepresident Ford W. Bell. “And the more museums around the world that can meetand exceed the highest standards of the field, the more we can ensure thelong-term support of publics and governments everywhere.”
The formalizing of the CMA agreementprovides a model for IBRAM and other national museum organizations. In thepast, AAM experts – including members of the Accreditation Commission – havetravelled to Chinato provide intense interactive workshops and seminars on best practices inmuseums.
The Alliancealso has a close collaborative partnership with museum professionals in Saudi Arabia, particularly with the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culturesin Dhahran, a major AAM sponsor. A number of AAM books and professionaldevelopment materials have been translated into Arabic, and Saudi museumleaders have welcomed Allianceexperts and attended the AAM Annual Meeting the past three years.
AM’s international programs also includeMuseums Connect, offering grants to create project partnerships between U.S. andinternational museums that promote cross-cultural understanding and communityengagement. Museums Connect is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureauof Educational and Cultural Affairs, and is administered by AAM. To date,Museums Connect has brought these projects into 23 U.S.states and the District of Columbiaand more than 40 nations.