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American Alliance of Museums Selects KDF as part of the 2024 MAP Cohort




The American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the only organization representing the entire scope of the museum community, recently selected a new cohort of museums to participate in its 2024 Museum Assessment Program, including Kids Discovery Factory.


Since its inception in 1981, the Museum Assessment Program (MAP) has helped more than 5,000 small and mid-sized museums of all types strengthen operations, plan for the future, and meet standards. With 4 types of assessments available, over 60% of AAM-accredited museums have participated in the program. To participate in the Museum Assessment Program, museums choose from one of four institutional assessment types: Organizational, Collections Stewardship, Education & Interpretation, or Community & Audience Engagement.


All four assessment types are grounded in AAM’s Core Standards; are inclusive of Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion (DEAI) issues as they relate to the assessment focus; help museums look at both functional and strategic aspects of their operations; present focused learning modules and action plans for the museum to progress through; and include a peer-reviewed site visit. Over one-third of participating museums found the experience so valuable that they returned to participate another time in the Museum Assessment Program.


Kids Discovery Factory’s Executive Director, Emili Uden, shared her thoughts on participating in the Museum Assessment Program, “We are so excited to be a part of the 2024 cohort of MAP museums. This assessment will help us identify our programmatic and organizational gaps and finalize our strategic plan as we prepare for substantial growth. Our upcoming building expansion will allow us to operate the museum full time and multiply our impact though southeastern Indiana. This assessment will help us prepare so that we can be the world-class children’s museum southeastern Indiana deserves!”


The benefits of participating in MAP are clear. Museums often gain clarity on an institutional roadmap or strategic plan, see positive impacts to their visitor experience or community response to their museum, grow in their ability to identify their strengths and challenges, or gain valuable assistance with updating museum policy, successes in fundraising, and other benefits. Kids Discovery Factory hopes to complete the AAM Accreditation Process in the future and the Museum Assessment Program will help them prepare for that application.  


MAP is supported through a cooperative agreement between the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the American Alliance of Museums. Read more about the Alliance’s Museum Assessment Program and the Continuum of Excellence by clicking the links.

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