Commission Corner: Stories from the July Meeting

Accreditation Peer Reviewers report back to the Accreditation Commission all sorts of exciting practices they observe while doing a museum site visit—practices that can range from just being “cool,” to being unexpected for the museum’s circumstances, to being a creative solution to a problem, to fulfilling a community need. The Accreditation Commission shares these stories with the field to help inspire others and to highlight accredited museums as leaders in the field, so make sure to make note in your reports and/or Advisory Comment Forms when you see something truly inspiring during your visits.

  • The Cincinnati Museum Center helps at-risk teenagers prepare for college via its Museum Center Youth Programs; and helps parents engage with their kids through its exemplary "Learning through Play" parent conference.
  • The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is a model historic house museum that is telling a nationally significant story while inspiring others to be active in social change. Examples include the Salons at Stowe program, a forum to connect the challenging issues (race, gender and class) that impelled Harriet Beecher Stowe to write and put a contemporary face on those same issues; and A Call to Action, a symposium with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, civic leaders, local citizens and students designed to establish Hartford as a model to create change around the issues of the achievement gap, economics of race and health disparities.
  • The Kennedy Museum of Art’s facility is a commendable example of adaptive reuse of a structure that played a distinctive place in the community for over a century: constructed in 1868, the massive multi-story red-brick Second Empire complex was the administrative center of the institution known as the Athens Lunatic Asylum for the Insane, the Athens State Hospital and the Southeastern Ohio Mental Health Center.
  • When the Fashion Institute of Technology learned through evaluation that its shared-use entrance to the museum was not welcoming to visitors, it  developed the Presidential Scholars’ Museum Facilitators Program wherein volunteering and greeting visitors is a reward for academic excellence.

These are just a few of the stories that were collected. As you fill out your Advisory Comment Form or in your report feel free to mention anything you feel is particularly noteworthy and deserving of special recognition about the museum, using the following criteria:

  • Creating something really cool and interesting
  • Developing something completely new; never heard of before
  • Coming up with something unique or unexpected for the museum’s circumstances
  • Raising the individual museum to a new level
  • Striving for a creative solution to a problem
  • Taking a risk
  • Filling a community need
  • Emerging with a new business model
  • Advancing the field/serving as a national model
  • Involving organizations outside the museum field in a new/meaningful way