Of the nation’s estimated 35,000 museums, only 1,056 are currently accredited, according to the alliance. The museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation, and public accountability.
Fresno’s museum has been continuously accredited since 1973.
Michele Ellis Pracy, the museum’s director and chief curator, says the reaccreditation process focused on three areas: collections stewardship, institutional planning and the organizational health and financial stability of the institution.
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“Accreditation ensures confidence in our institution by fellow museums, ongoing and potential donors, and to granting sources,” Ellis Pracy says.
Fresno’s museum underwent some turbulent times during the recent Great Recession. When Ellis Pracy took the helm last year, with the reaccreditation process in full swing, her most important mission was seeing the process through to a positive conclusion with the help of her board of directors and museum staff.
“I have been a professional in the museum field for thirty years, born and bred on the ethics and standards of excellence of the AAM beginning at the Oakland Museum of California three decades ago,” she says. “I would not work for a museum that was not accredited or applying for accreditation. This how seriously I believe in working under their umbrella.”
The museum will next be up for accreditation in 2025.
After a couple of rocky years in which arts lovers in Fresno worried whether we’d have a museum at all, it’s great to know we’re on the right track.