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Winners Announced for Alliance’s Education “Future Fiction” Challenge

Category: Press Release


April 7, 2016

Arlington, VA – Today the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) announced the winners of its Education “Future Fiction” Challenge.  The challenge, an initiative of AAM’s Center for the Future of Museums, was simply stated:  “Tell me a story about a future of education in which museums play a starring role.”  Participants told their stories from the perspective of the year 2040.

The grand prize winner is Keely Sarr, Assistant Museum Educator at Mead Art Museum in Amherst, MA for her story, “Standardized”. Sarr will be recognized with a $1,000 prize. Runners-up who will receive $500 prizes each are Sarah Dunifon, Matt Matcuk, Ashley Weinard and Joseph Daniel.

The purpose of the challenge was to help museums imagine the role they can play in the typical PreK-12 learning landscape for children in the future.

“I’m excited to see the creative vision for the future expressed by the participants in the Alliance’s Education Challenge,” said AAM President and CEO Laura L. Lott.  “Museums play a vital and growing role today in our nation’s evolving P-12 education system, and we’re committed to further growing the partnership of museums with schools to provide quality, experiential education to all students, regardless of background or financial standing.”

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Submissions came in a variety of creative writing forms—speeches, poetry, letters, email inbox snippets, plays, diary entries, and stories. In an effort to be inclusive to all learners, the entry process also allowed for submissions in alternative formats including video and mixed media.

The winning and runner-up stories, along with many others, are available online at

Participants in the challenge aptly illustrated the “vibrant learning grid” envisioned by educational forecasts such as the Alliance report  Building the Future of Education: Museums and the Learning Ecosystem and KnowledgeWorks’ 2020 Forecast: Creating the Future of Learning. Both reports highlight challenges students in the future will face, but also point to possible solutions.

AAM also has established the Ford W. Bell Fellowship for Museums and P-12 Education to empower the museum field to shape the future of P-12 education in the US. Honoring the legacy of former Alliance President Dr. Ford W. Bell, the Fellow will work within the Alliance’s Center for the Future of Museums to help museums increase their educational impact on the public through personalized, self-directed, passion-based, experiential learning.

About the Center for the Future of Museums

The Center for the Future of Museums (CFM) is an initiative of the American Alliance of Museums.  CFM helps museums shape a better tomorrow by exploring cultural, technological, political and economic trends of importance to museums; equips museums to help their communities address the challenges of coming decades; and builds connections between museums and other sectors.

About the American Alliance of Museums

The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 30,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance is the only organization representing the entire scope of the broad museum community. For more information, visit


Press Contact:

Joseph Klem
Phone: 202-218-7670

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