Professional Development

Updated August 3, 2021


Hosted by the American Alliance of Museums and other museum service organizations, this calendar lists opportunities for museum professionals.


MUSEUMDEV: ONLINE LEARNING FOR MUSEUM PROFESSIONALS – JULY–NOVEMBER MuseumDev offers 4-week courses for museum professionals taught by experts in the field. Asynchronous courses allow you to finish readings, participate in discussion forums, and complete class assignments on your own schedule. Receive certificates of completion. 



The AAM LGBTQ+ Alliance’s Task Force for Transgender Inclusion is seeking volunteers to participate in creating a Communications Guide and Resource List for the interpretation and discussion of transgender and gender nonconforming narratives in museums and cultural heritage institutions.



The Association for Art Museum Curators & AAMC Foundation is currently accepting proposals for its 2022 Art Curators Conference on the theme of Sustainability & Revitalization.



Join the Gender Equity in Museums Movement (GEMM) for an informal discussion, "Giving Ourselves Permission to Be Well with Dr. Redell Hearn". This GEMM Circle will include a guided meditation and discussion. Attendance will be limited to 25 participants.


ONLINE COURSE: FINANCIAL STRUCTURES AND STRATEGY – AUGUST 30–SEPTEMBER 27 Intended for those with little to moderate familiarity with financial concepts, this four-week course helps students better understand institutional finance and accountability. Staff, board members, and volunteers will find this course applicable to their work within nonprofit organizations, agencies, and other structures.



Join Ariana Makau and Gender Equity in Museums Movement (GEMM) Steering Committee members for a GEMM Circle on Women in Preservation. This small group discussion will include space for talking about how women in preservation and the field navigate discussing gender issues in the workspace.


ONLINE COURSE: BASICS OF ARCHIVES – AUGUST 30–OCTOBER 24 The Basics of Archives online course is designed to give organizations and individuals who are responsible for the care of historical records an introduction to the core aspects of managing and protecting historical records collections, using appropriate principles and best practices.


ONLINE COURSE: DEVELOPING EXHIBITIONS: PLANNING – AUGUST 30–OCTOBER 24 This course focuses on developing an understanding of current issues within exhibit development and creation of original planning material for a potential exhibit at participants’ institution (or other selected venue). Drawing upon their professional and educational experiences, course participants will examine their own perspectives on exhibition development and strengthen their role within its practice.


ONLINE COURSE: COLLECTIONS MANAGEMENT – AUGUST 30–OCTOBER 24 This course will introduce participants to the professional principles and practices in the management of museum collections. Topics will include collections development, registration and record keeping with an emphasis on the development of Collection Policies and Procedures and what it means to be intellectually and physically responsible for museum objects.


ONLINE COURSE: MUSEUM EDUCATION AND OUTREACH – AUGUST 30–OCTOBER 24 This course is about how we can facilitate visitors’ meaningful and memorable experiences in the informal environments of museums. The program looks at the larger umbrella of programming at sites and explores the large concept of who our audiences are, how best to connect with them, and what is needed to develop various methods.


RESOURCE: THE INCLUSIVE HISTORIAN'S HANDBOOK This reference source supports inclusive and equity-focused historical work in public settings by sharing a knowledge base that invites more people to engage in history projects. This handbook provides concrete examples of how to make history work more relevant. It centers on equity, inclusivity, diversity, and public service while offering accessible windows into the many ways public historians work. 


FREE DOWNLOAD: TRANSGENDER INCLUSION TOOLKIT FROM AAM LGBTQ ALLIANCE TASK FORCE The AAM LGBTQ Alliance’s Task Force for Transgender Inclusion recently released the Gender Transition and Transgender Inclusion in the Museum Workplace: A Toolkit for Trans Individuals, Institutions, and Coworkers. This expansive set of guides approaches trans inclusion from various perspectives in an approachable and easy-to-understand format.


Peer reviewers are museum professionals who volunteer their time to support AAM's Accreditation and Museum Assessment Programs (MAP). They review museum self-assessment materials, conduct site visits and facilitate the institutional planning process. Their service is the critical backbone to the success of both programs. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis.


POLARIS MUSEUM MENTOR NETWORK Serve as an online mentor or to reach out for support as a mentee during this time of physical distancing by joining POLARIS: The Museum Mentor Network (free to all museum professionals).  


DOWNLOAD THE AAM RACIAL EQUITY AND INCLUSION PLAN PRIMER Advancing racial and ethnic diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion on boards can be a daunting task for any institution. No matter where you are in the process of creating a racial equity and inclusion plan for your museum, learn more from this new resource, including questions to help guide you and links to additional resources.


CULTURE TRACK INTERACTIVE TOOL NOW LIVE This interactive dashboard provides compiles data from over 120,000 respondents who completed the Culture & Community in a Time of Crisis survey this spring. The comparisons included in the tool currently highlight members or subscribers to any arts or culture organization. In the coming weeks, it will be further enhanced to include splits by genre of cultural attendance as well as race and ethnicity to further aid cultural organizations in planning and implementation towards increased relevance, equity and sustainability.      


NEW REPORT: CHILDREN'S MUSEUM SURVEY – VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING FOR YOUNG CHILDREN  Rockman et Al (REA) in collaboration with the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) recently shared the results of the report, What Do Parents Want Now? Children’s Virtual Programming During the Pandemic. The survey summarizes responses from nearly 1300 members and visitors from thirteen children’s museums across the country— including California-based museums: the Bay Area Discovery Museum (Sausalito), the Children's Creativity Museum (San Francisco), the Sacramento Children's Museum (Rancho Cordova), the Children's Museum of Sonoma County (Santa Rosa), Habitot (Berkeley), and KidZone (Truckee).


NEW REPORT: 2021 MEMBERSHIP INSIGHTS Cuseum released their first 2021 report: 100+ Membership Leaders Share Their Priorities For Digital Transformation in Museum Membership. With never-before-seen data and insights, this report breaks down five modes of virtual membership and why membership leaders at premier cultural institutions have made them a priority for 2021.  


NEW RESOURCE: MUSEUMS FOR DIGITAL LEARNING  The Institute of Museum and Library Services is pleased to announce the launch of a new online resource center featuring dynamic digital museum content for K-12 educators searchable by subject and grade. Teachers across the country can now find resources that feature engaging activities from a growing number of museums all aligned with national education standards.


RECORDED WEBINAR: JUNETEENTH & CELEBRATING FREEDOM AT HISTORIC SITES  Continue learning about the history and significance of Juneteenth in this recorded webinar presented by The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH). Amber Mitchell, Director of Education at the Whitney Plantation, will discuss how your organization can join in the celebration in ways that are appropriate and respectful to the history of African Americans from slavery to modern interpretations, and elevating to the communities you are trying to reach all year-round.