WHO WE ARE
Museums Alaska is a statewide professional association that strengthens museums and cultural centers and enhances public understanding of their value through training, networking, professional development opportunities, grant programs, and advocacy. The organization began as a committee of the Alaska Historical Society in the late 1970s and became a non-profit organization [501(c)(3)] in 1983. Over the past four decades, Museums Alaska has steadily strengthened its operations and services and in 2020 hired its first full-time director to further grow the organization.
Museums Alaska provides services to museums, cultural organizations, and professionals across Alaska. Members represent a diverse group of professionals, students, consultants, and museum enthusiasts who are interested in caring for and sharing Alaska’s heritage. The organization supports an average of 150 members in communities from Nome to Ketchikan and many others who participate in events, programs, and trainings hosted by Museums Alaska.
To advance its mission, Museums Alaska acts as a clearinghouse for information about Alaska’s cultural institutions and their activities, advocates for museums at the state and national levels, develops opportunities and resources for professional education, and maintains an innovative grant program.
In 2003, Rasmuson Foundation and Museums Alaska began a long-term partnership to assist museums with acquiring artwork by living Alaska artists through the Art Acquisition Fund (AAF). The AAF has allowed museums across the state to acquire over a thousand significant works that help to tell 21st century Alaskan stories while stimulating local arts economies. Museums Alaska and the Rasmuson Foundation partnered again in 2013 to develop the Collections Management Fund (CMF) to provide museums with essential support for collections care projects ranging from documentation and conservation to storage. The Museums Alaska Director oversees both funds with administrative cost support from Rasmuson Foundation and assistance from volunteer peer reviewers.
Museums Alaska also provides museum professionals and their institutions with essential education and networking opportunities through its annual meeting, webinars, and online networking events.