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 Taking Your Museum to the Next level with the Museum Assessment Program and the Conservation Assessment Program
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Taking Your Museum to the Next level with the Museum Assessment Program and the Conservation Assessment Program

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Find out how MAP and CAP can help small and mid-sized museums of all disciplines achieve standards and best practices and attain excellence in operations. Learn how your peers have used MAP and CAP to …

Find out how MAP and CAP can help small and mid-sized museums of all disciplines achieve standards and best practices and attain excellence in operations. Learn how your peers have used MAP and CAP to help their museums become more relevant and sustainable, improve operations, improve collections stewardship, increase funding, and prepare for Accreditation. After attending the session, attendees will know more about how to use the programs to meet broader institutional goals including
sustainability, a clearer understanding of the museum’s audience and their needs, improved collections care, a stronger board, a clearer focus on mission and planning, and stronger operations.

• CHAIR: Lauren Silberman, American Association of Museums
• PANELISTS: Sara Gonzales, Heritage Preservation; Rebecca Massie Lane, Washington County Museum; of Fine Arts; John Simmons, Museologic

Presented at the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums Annual Meeting 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.


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  • 1. Taking Your Museum to the Next Level with MAP and CAP! MAAM Annual Meeting Baltimore, MD October 2011
  • 2. Panelists: Lauren Silberman, Museum Assessment Program, American Association of Museums Sara Gonzales, Conservation Assessment Program, Heritage Preservation Rebecca Massie Lane, Director, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Julianne Snider, Assistant Director, Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum & Art Gallery John Simmons, Principal, Museologica
  • 3. “MAP provided a blueprint for our organization.” -Althemese Barnes, Executive Director, John Gilmore Riley Center
  • 4. What is MAP ? Assessment tool made up of self-study and peer review Designed to help museums plan by identifying strengths and weaknesses “MAP is one of the best services provided for small and emerging museums.” -Lee Langston Harrison, Executive Director, Museum of Culpeper History
  • 5. Why do a MAP? “The MAP process was invaluable to the staff and board of the NHS and has provided us with helpful information in moving forward.” -Megan Delaney, Registrar, Newport Historical Society •Preparation for institutional planning •Get ducks in a row prior to staff changes •Preparation for AAM Accreditation •Response to major changes in the museum: expansion, move to a new building, loss of traditional income, desire to serve new audiences •A neutral way to bring up an institutional issue •Leverage support
  • 6. MAP’s Impact on the Field • Nearly 25% of all museums in America have participated in MAP • 60% of AAM Accredited museums have participated in MAP • Out of 1,193 IMLS Museums for America grants distributed, 55% have been to MAP museums • Around 20,000 museum professionals have participated in MAP with their museum, as a peer reviewer, or both • 89% of MAP museums changed at least one institutional practice as a result of MAP
  • 7. Assessment Types Organizational (institutional): All areas of museum operation reviewed Collections Stewardship (collections management): Focus on collections policies, planning, access, documentation and collections care Community Engagement (public dimension): Assesses the relationship between the museum and community "Because of MAP, my organization is stronger, more strategic in our thinking and has a broader sense of our base of support.“ —Lynne Goodwin, Executive Director, Elizabeth Stewart Treehouse Museum
  • 8. • Self-Assessment Materials (workbook and activities) • 1 – 2 day site visit conducted by peer reviewer • Report with Prioritized Recommendations • Travel expenses for peer reviewer • Honoraria for peer reviewer • Suggested resources to implement report recommendations • MAP Bookshelf • Museum Essentials Webinars and the AAM Information Center • Certificate of Completion • National recognition: press releases & Congressional announcements Participation includes:
  • 9. Sample MAP timeline 11 Fall: Apply and get started 22 Winter: Work on Self-Study; get matched with Peer Reviewer 33 Spring: Complete Self-Study; Host Site Visit with Peer Reviewer 44 Summer: Receive Report and Implement Recommendations Start Finish
  • 10. How much does it cost? Annual Operating Participant Fees $125K or less FREE Between $125,001 and $400K $350 Between $400,001 and $1 Million $550 Greater than $1 Million $750 “Because of MAP, my museum continues to evolve and meet the challenges of the new century.” -Carol Majahad, Director, North Andover Historical Society
  • 11. An eligible museum (from art to zoo!): is organized as a public or private non- profit for educational or aesthetic purposes; • cares for and owns or uses tangible objects for exhibition; • is maintained by at least one professional staff member or the full- time equivalent; • is located in one of the fifty states of the United States or territories; • is open to the general public for at least 90 days a year ; • for Re-MAP - had a previous IMLS awarded same MAP assessment 7 or more years ago. Who Can Participate? “MAP helped the museum learn where it needed to focus its energies, started new and important conversations, and laid a foundation to begin implementing physical upgrades.” - John Hawkins, Director, Caldwell Heritage Museum
  • 12. Apply Now! Deadlines: December 1, 2011 and July 1, 2012 Email: map@aam-us.org Call: 202.289.9118 www.aam-us/org/map When Can I Apply?
  • 13. Conservation Assessment Program (CAP)
  • 14. What is the Conservation Assessment Program (CAP)? CAP is a non-competitive technical assistance program that provides a general assessment for small and mid- sized museums of all types, including those with living collections. A general assessment is a broad study of policies, procedures, and environmental conditions affecting the care and preservation of collections and sites.
  • 15. CAP Assessments CAP assessments include: • a self-assessment of the museum through the completion of the Site Questionnaire, an in-depth survey of all the preventive conservation policies and practices currently in place at the museum • a two-day site visit conducted by a professional conservator who examines the organization’s collections, environmental conditions, and sites • a report with prioritized recommendations for improving collections care and preventive conservation practices • follow up from Heritage Preservation in the form of free preventive conservation resources to help you begin to improve your conservation practices.
  • 16. How much does it cost? CAP allocation amounts are assigned based on the museum’s budget. Total assessment costs average $4,010 for museums with one assessor and $7,860 for museums with two. Heritage Preservation recommends that museums budget extra funds* to supplement the CAP allocation, as outlined in the table below: Museum Budget Allocation Estimated Cost Allocation Estimated Cost Less than $250,000 $3,590 $430 $7,190 $670 $250,000 - $1,000,000 $3,490 $530 $7,020 $850 More than $1,000,000 $3,390 $630 $6,840 $1,020 *Note these costs are estimates, as opposed to required contributions. Assessors set their own fees, and CAP participants may negotiate the costs of their assessments.
  • 17. Participation Covers: •• fees of preservation professionals • list of approved assessors to choose from • the CAP Site Questionnaire self-study form • information and guidance on hiring preservation professionals and planning your assessment • report with prioritized recommendations • references and ideas for identifying preservation funding and resources • packet consisting of selected books and resources worth $200 for museums that complete the Outcome Based Evaluation survey one year after CAP. • Recognition: Heritage Preservation announces all CAP participants to Congress and provides a sample press release to all participants.
  • 18. Who can participate? Eligible museums from art to zoo can participate. CAP is appropriate for organizations whose collections can be assessed in a two-day survey. An eligible museum: • is organized as a public or private non-profit for educational or aesthetic purposes; • cares for and owns or uses tangible objects for exhibition; • is maintained by at least one professional staff member or the full-time equivalent; • is located in one of the fifty states of the United States or territories; • is open to the general public for at least 90 days a year; • for Re-CAP - had a previous IMLS awarded CAP assessment seven or more years ago.
  • 19. CAP Timeline Start Finish 1 1. Fall: apply 2 2. Winter: complete agreement with assessor and Site Questionnaire 3 4 3. Spring/Early Summer: Host site visit with CAP assessor(s) 4. Late Summer/Fall: receive report and send one copy to Heritage Preservation 5 5. Finish program, one year later complete OBE survey
  • 20. When can I apply? Fall 2012 CAP applications are available now at www.heritagepreservation.org/cap/application.html. Applications are available as: • an online form • a fill-in PDF form that can be printed and mailed in • a fill-in Microsoft Word form that can be printed and mailed in • a paper application (available from the CAP office on request) For questions or to request a paper application, contact CAP at : Email: cap@heritagepreservation.org Phone: 202-233-0800
  • 21. Why participate in CAP? The advice of a professionally trained conservator helps you to: • improve collections preservation at your museum • formulate a long-range plan for preservation of the collections • allocate resources for collections care within your organization • make the case to the board or other governing bodies of the importance of collections care to the organization • obtain grant funding to implement preventive conservation and other collections care projects at your museum • justify increased funding for collections care, collections staff, and continuing education of staff in the principles and practices of collections care.
  • 22. Taking Your Museum to the Next  Level with the Museum  Assessment Program Rebecca Massie Lane Director, Washington County  Museum of Fine Arts
  • 23. 2009  Institutional MAP Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
  • 24. Self‐Study > Needs Assessment Governance, Facility,  Security, Finances,  Development Audience, Educational  Outreach, Marketing Collections, Exhibitions Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
  • 25. Peer Review, Site Visit, Final  Report Planning, LR‐‐Tactical Collections Inventory Resources for Accreditation Standards, Best Practices,  Professionalism Grant Seeking, IMLS – MFA Proposal Apply for Collections‐MAP
  • 26. 2010 ‐ Collections MAP Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
  • 27. MAP and C‐MAP Results Written Strategic Plan Collections Philosophy  and Plan Collections  Management Policy FY 2012 IMLS‐MFA  Grant Award for  Collections Inventory Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
  • 28. Next?   Community Engagement MAP? Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
  • 29. Our CAP and MAP Experience
  • 30. Museum history Small college museum Huge university: The Pennsylvania State University Fall 2011—44,800 students arrive on campus
  • 31. Museum history 1910—Mineral collections 1928—Steidle Collection of American Industrial Art Since 1953—Collections continue to grow: add rocks, fossils; historic mining artifacts; & osteology 19501950 19101910 20102010
  • 32. 2004 College commitment Revitalize the museum Hire a new director Two new exhibition galleries 2005—Center for Education, Research, & Collections (CERC) off campus 2006—Assistant Director for Exhibits and Collections 2007—Adjunct Curator of Collections
  • 33. Goal: Accreditation We are small but… we think we know our shortcomings we think we know our strengths we know we are over-committed we think we can do it we are overwhelmed 2009 Apply for CAP and MAP-Institutional Assessment CAP—March 2010 MAP—May 2010
  • 34. CAP Application & MAP Self Study Workbook Extremely helpful All pieces of information together in one place Think about and articulate goals Think about and articulate strengths Too easy to focus on needs and weaknesses and forget about the good work you are doing
  • 35. CAP & MAP reports Read it Share it Administration Advisory Board members Development Office Anyone who has or needs to have an interest in your success Anyone who may be your advocate Keep it near by Refer to it often
  • 36. CAP & MAP reports Detailed Recommendations for improvements Recommended priorities Short term goals Long term goals Lists of resources publications, articles, websites, organizations, funding agencies
  • 37. CAP & MAP reports Take recommendations to heart Use them as your guide Take action Don’t be shy Press release—send it out Decal or certificate—post them Letter of congratulations from your senator—forward to your board & administration
  • 38. Take advantage of the “freebies” AAM publications (MAP) AAM Webinars (MAP) Heritage Foundation resource packet (CAP)
  • 39. Progress to date Administration Commitment: more space MAP & CAP Collections database—PastPerfect MAP & CAP Security improvements MAP & CAP HVAC system improvements CAP Disaster planning & preparedness MAP & CAP New board members MAP UV filters: gallery & case lighting CAP
  • 40. Still working on Refining collections management policy CAP & MAP Creating new five-year strategic plan; Code of Ethics; facilities usage policy MAP Seeking collaborators MAP Diversifying funding sources CAP & MAP IMLS CPS Environmental Improvement grant submitted 30 Sept 2011
  • 41. Plenty more on both lists Interpretive plan More security measures Outreach and public programming Staffing and volunteers Marketing strategy Assessment and audience feedback More staff Collections care and management Microenvironments Integrated pest management Space efficient furniture for all collections
  • 42. Our Goal: Accreditation We are not quite so overwhelmed
  • 43. The Seven Secrets of Peer Review John E. Simmons Museologica Bellefonte, Pennsylvania and Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum & Art Gallery Penn State University and Lecturer in Art Juniata College
  • 44. Peer Review • Museum needs advice • Reviewer gives advice • Reviewer writes report
  • 45. Chicago Nowheresville ???
  • 46. Peer Review Secret #1 • It is easier to be the assessor than the assessed
  • 47. Writing the report…
  • 48. Peer Review Secret #2 • Don’t bog down in the details “It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious” Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World (1925)
  • 49. Peer Review Secret #3 • The first report you write is the most difficult
  • 50. Peer Review Secret #4 • Always take clean underwear and a toothbrush in your carry-on
  • 51. Think you’re not ready for MAP or CAP?
  • 52. Peer Review Secret #5 • Be prepared to do a lot of listening
  • 53. Peer Review Secret #6 • Deliver a clear message
  • 54. I’m not making this up, he is buried right here
  • 55. Museum Insultants
  • 56. Peer Review Secret #7 • Write the best report you can
  • 57. Seven Secrets of Peer Review 1. It is easier to be the assessor than the assessed 2. Don’t bog down in the details 3. The first report you write is the most difficult 4. Always take clean underwear and a toothbrush in your carry-on 5. Be prepared to do a lot of listening 6. Deliver a clear message 7. Write the best report you can
  • 58. Seven Secrets of Peer Review • Its good for your peers • Its good for the profession • Its good for you
  • 59. Resources: Lauren Silberman Coordinator, MAP, AAM map@aam-us.org (202) 289-9118 Sara Gonzales Coordinator, CAP, Heritage Preservation cap@heritagepreservation.org (202) 233-0800