Smoky Hill Museum Receives Highest National Recognition
Awarded Re-Accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums
The Smoky Hill Museum has again achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public. The Smoky Hill Museum was initially accredited in 1997. All accredited museums must undergo a reaccreditation review at least every 10 years to maintain accredited status.
Alliance Accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for 50 years, the Alliance’s museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.
“It is thanks to a very dedicated staff that the Smoky Hill Museum retains its accreditation with the Alliance,” said Susan Hawksworth, director of the Smoky Hill Museum. “By achieving reaccreditation, the staff has shown a commitment to keeping Salina’s history available and accessible to the community.”
Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, only 1107 (3%) are currently accredited. The Smoky Hill Museum is one of just 11 museums accredited in Kansas and is one of two museums accredited in Salina.
“The City of Salina is blessed to have a nationally accredited history museum,” said Brad Anderson, Executive Director of the Salina Arts and Humanities for the City of Salina. “The engaging programs and exhibits created by the professional staff make a positive impact in Salina and across the state.”
Accreditation is a very rigorous but highly rewarding process that examines all aspects of a museum’s operations. To earn accreditation a museum first must conduct a year of self-study, and then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, considers the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation.
“Accredited museums are a community of institutions that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to excellence,” said Laura L. Lott, Alliance President and CEO. “Accreditation is clearly a significant achievement, of which both the institutions and the communities they serve can be extremely proud.”
The Smoky Hill Museum is a hands-on, minds-on museum. Exhibits and programs draw from the countless stories of the Salina area and over 34,000 artifacts in the Museum’s collections. This FREE museum is open Tuesday-Friday 11-5 and Saturday 10-5. Also, be sure to stop by the Museum Store for a wide variety of regional and Kansas products, local artwork and gifts for all ages.
About the American Alliance of Museums
The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.
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