Professional Development

Updated May 26, 2020


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


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).


AAM VIRTUAL ANNUAL MEETING – JUNE 1–4 Kicking off on May 18 and continuing June 1-4, the AAM Virtual Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo (#AAMvirtual) will bring networking opportunities, inspiring programming, and the MuseumExpo through a new virtual experience. With the new format comes a new theme and programming adjusted to reflect the current global crisis: Radical Reimagining.


ONLINE COURSE: BASICS OF ARCHIVES – STARTS JUNE 1 This 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: LEADERSHIP AND ADMINISTRATION FOR HISTORY ORGANIZATIONS – STARTS JUNE 1 This eight-week course includes modules addressing governance and administrative structures, nonprofit status and the public trust, mission and vision, the relationship between board and staff, including their roles and responsibilities; strategic planning, human resource development and management, and leadership.


ONLINE COURSE: CARING FOR MUSEUM COLLECTIONS – STARTS JUNE 1 This eight-week course will deal with the physical care and preservation of museum collections. The course will cover how collections age and deteriorate, handling collections, storage requirements, environmental considerations, housekeeping, and risk management.


CALL FOR SHORT PAPERS: MUSEUMS AND COVID-19 – SUBMIT BY JUNE 30 The editors of Museum & Society seek initial responses for their November 2020 issue – short (1000-1500 words) papers reflecting on the impact of COVID-19 on cultural organizations; new challenges, realities, and practices emerging during the pandemic; and the impact of the pandemic on planning activities and institutional discourses.


AAM MUSEUM PUBLICATIONS DESIGN COMPETITION – APPLY BY JUNE 30 All museums are eligible to enter the Alliance’s annual publications design competition. Winners are chosen for their overall design excellence, creativity, and ability to express an institution’s personality, mission, or special features. The panel of judges includes graphic designers, museum professionals, and/or publishers.


NEW 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.


NEW TOOL FOR CHANGEMAKERS NOW AVAILABLE: BAY AREA EQUITY ATLAS The Bay Area Equity Atlas is a comprehensive data support system to track the state of equity across the region and inform solutions for inclusive prosperity as well as policy solutions and stories. 



This report reveals that women of color encounter systemic obstacles to their advancement over and above the barriers faced by white women and men of color. Education and training are not the solution—women of color with high levels of education are more likely to be in administrative roles and are more likely to report frustrations about inadequate and inequitable salaries.


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.


Get weekly professional development when you sign up for a JFKU online Museum Fundamentals class. Two classes will be offered Summer Quarter 2020, starting July 6:

  • Strategic Thinking & Planning with Michelle Powers MA/MBA
  • Museums 101 with Susan Spero, PhD 

All courses offer twelve lessons that involve key concepts and discussions with the online instructor. Each course costs $350 ($300 for CAM members). The online classes present engaging lectures, insightful readings, and a platform for robust dialog with instructor and classmates. Learn more about each class.

For questions about the courses or to receive more information about the program, contact Susan Spero at

CAM members receive 15% off registration - save $262 on the entire series! Each course costs $297.50 for CAM members or $350 for non-members. Contact CAM at to receive your discount.