Museum Director Megan Clark says it’s been almost 2- decades since the museum’s last self-study. She hopes the accreditation program will help elevate the museum’s status and show potential grant funders that Wrangell is worth investing in.
“Being accredited is really a nice feather in your cap. But it also allows for you to prove to funders that your museum is serious about doing projects and opens up far more granting opportunities for different exhibits to come to your museum, that often only go to accredited institutions,” she says.
Clark says the assessment will focus on some of the “behind the scenes” work that goes on in the museum. In particular, it will look at ways that museum administration can change in order to help develop and receive more grant funding. In the future, she says she would like to see studies done on the museum’s collection and ways to improve volunteering.
“Having the American Association of Museums come in and say “yes you are good enough,” is kind of a big deal in the museum world. Not a lot of museums in Alaska have that accreditation,” she says.
At this time, Clark is working on the ‘self-study’ portion of the assessment. She says part of that work includes looking at how the museum can play a larger role in future community education and outreach.
“We need to get more people utilizing the museum as well as develop additional educational programs for students and community members,” she says.
In the next few months, the American Association of Museum’s staff will be visiting Wrangell to evaluate the museum for accreditation and work with museum staff on ways to improve the facility and what it offers.
The Wrangell Museum is located in the Nolan Center, near Wrangell’s downtown Harbor. It offers an array of photographs, art work, and Tlingit artifacts from Wrangell’s past to present. Starting this month is the museum’s annual ‘Chautauqua’ series, which offers guest speakers and lectures on an array of topics and interests, held every Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Nolan Center.
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