SEATTLE, May 28, 2009—The Museum of Flight has again achieved accreditation by the American Association of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, to donors, to outside agencies, and to the museum-going public. The Museum of Flight was initially accredited in 1986. All museums must undergo a re-accreditation review at least every 10 years to maintain accredited status.
AAM Accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for 35 years, AAM’s museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and remain financially and ethically accountable ─ all in order to provide the best possible service to the public. "We are pleased and proud that the Museum of Flight has once again been reaccredited by the AAM”, stated President and CEO, Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar.
“Re-accreditation has become much more rigorous in the last 10 years, as it examines all aspects of Museum operations, governance, and finance. It involved our Board of Trustees, our Staff, and our Volunteers. It speaks well to the talent, passion, and commitment of the entire team. We are also grateful to the leadership of two Board of Trustees Chairmen during this 3 year process, Mr. James T. Johnson, and Mr. Robert J. Genise.”
Of the nation's estimated 17,500 museums, 775 are currently accredited. The Museum of Flight is one of only 13 museums accredited in Washington state. The Museum is the only air and space museum in Washington state that is both nationally accredited with the American Association of Museums and is a designated Smithsonian Affiliate.
Accreditation is a very rigorous but highly rewarding process that examines all aspects of a museum’s operations. To earn accreditation a museum first must conduct a year of self-study, then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, considers the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation. While the time to complete the process varies by museum, it generally takes as much as three years. “Accreditation is emblematic of an institution’s commitment to public service and to overall excellence,” said Ford W. Bell, AAM president. “Attaining accreditation involves taking a hard look at yourself, allowing your peers in the field to do the same, and being judged to be superior in all areas. The people of Seattle can take great pride in the fact that their local institution is one of America’s premier museums.” The American Association of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. With more than 15,000 individual, 3,000 institutional, and 300 corporate members, AAM is dedicated to ensuring that museums remain a vital part of the American landscape, connecting people with the greatest achievements of the human experience, past, present and future. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.###
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The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, on King County International Airport, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 between downtown Seattle and SeaTac Airport. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $13 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for active military, $7.50 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo. For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit www.museumofflight.org.