Finding your RoadMAP

By: Lauren Silberman

Imagine you’re out driving, and you’ve gotten lost. You didn’t bring a map, your GPS is on the fritz, your cell phone is dead, and there isn’t anyone around. Plus, it just started raining hard, and you need a gas station – soon. You know where you want to end up, but the journey to get there is no longer any fun.

Operating a museum can be much like the scenario above. Sometimes, you need guidance to get your museum to the next level, to become more financially sustainable, to better achieve standards or to work with your community.

One way to assist your museum in achieving its objectives is to participate in the Museum Assessment Program (MAP), a nationally recognized program administered through a cooperative agreement between the American Alliance of Museums and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. MAP helps museums strengthen operations, plan for the future and meet standards through self-study and a consultative site visit from an expert peer reviewer. The peer reviewer writes a report that can serve as a roadmap for the future. MAP grants are non-competitive and provide $4,000 of consultative resources and services to participating museums.

The following museums in WMA are to be congratulated for their recent participation in MAP:

  • Chabot Space & Science Center, Community Engagement MAP, Oakland, CA
  • Chinese Historical Society of America, Collections Stewardship MAP, San Francisco, CA
  • Edmonds Historical Museum, Organizational MAP, Edmonds, WA
  • Harold L. Lyon Arboretum, Collections Stewardship MAP, Honolulu, HI
  • High Desert Museum, Community Engagement MAP, Bend, OR
  • Inupiat Heritage Center, Organizational MAP, Barrow, AK
  • Lancaster Museum of Art and History, Organizational MAP, Lancaster, CA
  • Monterey County Agricultural and Rural Life Museum, Community Engagement MAP, Salinas, CA
  • Museum of Natural and Cultural History University of Oregon, Organizational MAP, Eugene, OR
  • Seldovia Museum, Organizational MAP, Seldovia, AK
  • Sylvia Plotkin Judaica Museum Congregation Beth Israel, Collections Stewardship MAP, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Tahoe Maritime Museum, Community Engagement MAP, Homewood, CA
  • Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, Community Engagement MAP, Tucson, AZ
  • University Gallery at Pacific Lutheran University, Organizational MAP, Tacoma, WA
  • University of Alaska Museum of The North, Organizational MAP, Fairbanks, AK
  • Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology, Organizational MAP, Chico, CA
  • Western Railway Museum, Organizational MAP, Suisun City, CA
  • Wrangell Museum, Organizational MAP, Wrangell, AK

A full list of participants can be found at

If your museum is interested in participating in MAP, there is an application deadline on December 1st. But space is limited so get your application in soon. There is also a July 1st deadline. Applications can be found at

If you have any questions about MAP, staff can be reached at 202-289-9118 or

Lauren Silberman is the coordinator for the Museum Assessment Program at the American Alliance of Museums.


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Just want to see if you are a robot.