Professionalizing America’s Museums

Note: I recently became an overseas correspondent for Korea’s online artEzine which is both in Korean and English. I will be posting abstracts of the articles published online along with a link to the English version.

In adopting the UNESCO Seoul Agenda (May 2010), the South Korean government initiated a commitment to develop creativity and character in all its citizens through arts education. In addition to formal arts education in schools for all students, a system of creative experiential activities in informal learning settings, such as museums, will be looked to for supporting arts training of middle and high school students. Subsequently, an authentication system program will be designed for South Korea’s 562 museums and other cultural institution to create a distinctive brand. A potential model South Korea can look to for its authentication system is the museum accreditation program for America’s 17,500 museums created 40 years ago. The model also can offer insight into the challenges American museums face at the beginning of the 21st century. For example, despite their important educational role, American museums have yet to be recognized by policy makers as core educational institutions. The article is a report from the field on the current reinvention of the American museum accreditation program and what it hopes to accomplish in the process.
Published June 3, 2011

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