The California Networks for Collaboration (CNfC) is a project of the California Association of Museums.

Recently, the CNfC offered professional development opportunities to California museum professionals and cultural sector colleagues across 12 regions throughout the state, funded by a National Leadership grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  

Over a period of six months (July – December 2015), three unique Learning Collaboratives took place under the project’s overarching topic of expanding public engagement and accessibility:


  • Accessibility Learning Collaborative Participants worked together to gain sensitivity and practical tools to intentionally design for diverse audiences’ experiences inside and outside of the museum  

  • Audience Research Learning Collaborative Participants joined together to learn how to think “evaluatively” in designing small, practical audience research studies to collect meaningful data  

  • Engagement Strategies Learning Collaborative Participants came together to deepen shared insights and practices to effectively align institutional goals and directly engage the communities they serve  

Each course of study provided a baseline understanding of the topic under investigation by reviewing best practices. 

During the six months of study, participants:

  • Met in person once a month Participated in online discussions and activities with fellow collaborators
  • Read and reviewed recommended resources curated by national experts Attended webinars by national content experts
  • Visited a local case study institution Co-created a final knowledge product

Project partners across the state included:

  • Santa Barbara Educators’ Roundtable 
  • Solano County Museum Consortium
  • Sunnylands Center & Gardens
  • Sacramento Association of Museums
  • Eastern Sierra Cultural Heritage Alliance
  • Riverside Art Museum
  • Museum Educators of Southern California
  • Exhibit Envoy
  • Balboa Park Cultural Partnership
  • Cultural Connections
  • Turtle Bay Exploration Park
  • California Arts Council
  • Cal Humanities   

For more information about the California Networks for Collaboration project:  

For questions or to gain more information about this project, please contact Ivy Young Project Director, California Networks for Collaboration California Association of Museums collaborativelearning@calmuseums.org 831/471.9970 x106 or Emily Todd Administrative Coordinator, California Association of Museums admin@calmuseums.org 831/471.9970 x101                                                                  

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, grant number MG-10-14-0010-14.