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Center for the Future of Museums

Understanding that the dynamic nature of our cultural, political, and economic landscape directly affects how we interact with museums, the Center for the Future of Museums (CFM) helps museums navigate the future.

The Center for the Future of Museums, in collaboration with our community, works to

  • Monitor cultural, technological, political and economic trends that matter to museums
  • Equip museums to help their communities address future challenges
  • Build strong connections among museums and educational, corporate, civic, nonprofit, and government organizations

Learn more about the work of the Center of the Future of Museums:

CFM Blog—read frequent posts about emerging ideas from CFM director Elizabeth Merritt and numerous guest authors

TrendsWatch—an annual digital and print forecasting report.

Building the Future of Education

Bring the future to your museum or conference

At the Alliance, we love the opportunity to engage with our community face-to-face. Each year we make time for CFM staff to “take the show on the road,” via lectures and workshops.

 CFM’s founder and director Elizabeth Merritt is available for a limited number of engagements. For more information visit our Speakers Bureau and read about our current areas of focus for lectures and workshops.

Fees depend on the length and nature of the presentation, and Alliance member museums receive a discount. These paid engagements help underwrite the free content CFM provides including TrendsWatch, our weekly e-newsletter Dispatches from the Future, and the CFM Blog.

If you would like to invite Elizabeth to speak at your museum or conference, contact us at emerritt (at) aam-us.org.

AAM Member-Only Content

AAM Members get exclusive access to premium digital content including:

  • Featured articles from Museum magazine
  • Access to more than 1,500 resource listings from the Resource Center
  • Tools, reports, and templates for equipping your work in museums
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Downsizing Our Museum in the Face of a Pandemic

According to the Alliance’s first COVID snapshot of museum operations, conducted this past summer, one-third of US museums expected to lose over 40 percent of their annual operating income …

Tales from Campus: how a collections-based seminar went virtual

All museums have had their worlds turned upside-down in the past year, but college and university museums and galleries face a specific set of challenges. According to the Chronicle of …

“Decolonizing is Literally Unsettling”: Repatriation of Nonprofit Land and Assets

On July 16, 2020, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) and the Yale Union (YU) announced that YU would transfer its land and building in Portland, Oregon, to NACF. The historic …

Why We’re Staying Closed

Many museums are struggling with when, and whether, to open, reclose, and reopen. These enormously difficult decisions may determine whether the organization survives the current crisis. …

“My Primary School is at the Museum…During the Pandemic”

One challenge facing communities around the globe is providing safe spaces where children can continue their education as normally as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the UK, …

Open Source Solidarity: Starting a Mutual Aid Fund at Your Museum

Earlier this month, I wrote about the role self-organized mutual aid groups are playing in our nation’s response to the financial damage inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today on the …

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