Monday, March 22, 2010

Museums Advocacy Day

Today is Museums Advocacy Day in DC. 

You can follow along with the conversation on Twitter.

One of the recent AAM tweets caught my eye:

AAMers: Don't think you have to work for a museum in order to advocate for them. Your opinion might matter even more. #MuseumsAdvocacyDay

I would like to pose a question to the AAM in response to that statement.  If you acknowledge the important voice of people who don’t work for museums, then why do you not have a membership category for them?  People who have volunteered for or studied museums in the past (but do not currently have an affiliation with a museum) may still want to join the AAM, but there is no category for “museum fan” or “museum studies graduate, unemployed.”

Under the current categories, I am not eligible to join the AAM.  I just find that a bit strange, considering how much of my time I spend thinking about museums.

Dear AAM – if you recognize that Museum Advocates come in all shapes and sizes, then you need to extend AAM membership to Museos of all types.

Regardless, good luck with Museums Advocacy Day!  Museos Unite supports the cause/revolution.


  1. Here, here! There should be a category for you. I just feel lucky there's a category for me, seeing as I work for a nonprofit that helps to support the programs (and run the store) for a state museum. Yet I am reminded daily how my boss, the foundation administrator knows nothing about museum theory and even showed her ignorance when I was musing about going to AAM and she blurted out, "Who needs to go to things like that?" Then she asks me to fix our membership program and I wish I had some other contacts who did museum membership too.

  2. I agree, but you knew that already! I think there should definitely be a museum job seekers' membership category, especially since the AAM has a jobs board and useful resources and discounts job seekers might want to take advantage of. I'm sure the argument is that people looking for museum jobs should be volunteering, however even if they all were (they're not) they wouldn't necessarily be affiliated with one museum to the point they'd feel comfortable registering as a volunteer of that museum.

    A more One Size Fits All option would be to have a Friends of the AAM or a Museum Advocates category. A lot of people who are genuinely interested in participating in the AAM would join, but this might also attract outsiders or people with excess money that just like to join things! There has to be a better way to say "rich folks with too much time and money on their hands who might feel inclined to throw a little of that money the AAM's way."

  3. While I agree it would be nice to expand the categories, why not either the volunteer option, or the "independent professional"?

  4. @KLL
    I am not currently a museum volunteer, in that I am not associated with a museum. I do volunteer a lot of my time to run this blog, however, and to generally try to spread awareness to the public about museums. I also do not qualify as an independent professional under their classification as I am not providing services to museums "for profit." No money in it for me!

  5. Just as a general question, is there anyone else out there who would like to join AAM but can't due to the categories, or knows anyone in that situation? Just wondering.