About WMA

Providing professional development for museum professionals since 1935.

The Western Museums Association (WMA) is a nonprofit, membership organization dedicated to serving museums, museum professionals, as well as the related organizations and individuals, by providing vision, enrichment, intellectual challenge, and a forum for communication and interaction. The WMA is primarily comprised of members across the Western states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, the Western provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, and the Pacific Islands, among others.

The WMA sustains itself through memberships, the Annual Meeting, and partnerships.


The Bylaws of the Western Museums Association are available for review here


Transforming the museum field through collaboration.


Dynamic museums connecting with thriving communities.

Supporting Statement 

WMA believes museums must be essential to the communities they serve and that their impact contributes to why their communities thrive. By sparking the generation of ideas that continually refresh the museum field, WMA ensures museum professionals are inspired to create meaningful experiences that individual visitors value.

WMA 3-Year Strategic Plan (2016-2019)

Created in 2016, our New Plan will guide the WMA’s work until 2019. 

Core Values

The WMA is guided by the following Core Values to direct and sustain organizational efforts on behalf of constituents, and ultimately achieve the goals of the mission.

  • Social Benefit: To support the work that museums do for their communities, while inspiring quality, innovative services to the public.
  • Excellence: Challenge museums to strive for their best in the belief that they all have the potential to impact the lives of others.
  • Leadership: To promote the professional development of all museum staff, volunteers, and trustees, while seeking to enhance their positive change and growth as all individuals have the potential to be leaders.
  • Collegiality: To provide opportunities for individuals to connect and develop life-long relationships, as they create a community of colleagues who support each other’s institutional endeavors and personal well-being.
  • Fun: Good humor facilitates learning and relationship building, and enjoyment in an association of colleagues helps build a community of talented, connected individuals who are energized about their profession.
  • Trust: To respect one another and be confident in the integrity of our diverse museum community.
  • Inclusion: To encourage differences of opinions, perspectives, and unfamiliar ideas, as they enrich the WMA.
  • Sustainability: In seeking innovation, the WMA takes a measured and responsible approach to decisions and initiatives, with the appreciation that today’s actions affect the organization’s future success and vitality.

The WMA is a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization, incorporated in the state of California. Tax ID# 23-7312905

For more information about the WMA, please contact our staff.