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

In 2015, the California Networks for Collaboration 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).  

Three unique Learning Collaboratives, or what might be more readily recognized as “study groups”, came together as learning communities under the CNFC 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


Over a six-month period, from July–December 2015, the Learning Collaboratives offered participants a “blended” (i.e. both in-person and on-line) collaborative learning experience with the following components:

  • Monthly, in-person meetings
  • Online discussions in between meetings
  • Recommended resources and activities curated by national experts
  • Monthly webinars with national content experts
  • A local case study visit
  • Co-creation of a final knowledge product


Learning Collaborative participants documented their key learnings in final knowledge products  with the hope that museums colleagues near and far will apply these most poignant takeaways and recommendations to their own practices. You may access and download these knowledge products here. 

The California Association of Museums oversaw this phase of the CNfC project with the following statewide partners:


For more information about the California Networks for Collaboration project:  

For questions or further information about this project, please contact:

Ivy Young
Project Director, California Networks for Collaboration
831/471.9970 x106


Emily Todd
Administrative Coordinator, California Association of Museums

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