The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) has released the latest edition in its Next Practices series, which shares information about AAMD member museums’ innovative programs in a broad range of areas. The new publication, Next Practices in Partnerships, is a compilation of 95 examples of museum collaborations with different organizations that enhance their public service and benefit their communities. The initiatives include partnerships with medical schools, science centers, think tanks, neighborhood organizations, social service providers, police departments, and a variety of other organizations. Next Practices is a source of information and ideas for those inside and beyond the art museum field, with practical information on programs that enhance people’s lives.
“By joining forces with different people and institutions, art museums foster community cohesion and provide a range of services that neither partner could offer working separately,” said Lori Fogarty, President of AAMD and Director and CEO of the Oakland Museum of California. “The collaborative projects featured in Next Practices in Partnerships range from initiatives that support parents of low-income or at-risk families in engaging their young children with works of art, programs that help train medical students and doctors to be better physicians, to placemaking experiments that catalyze economic development through artistic interventions. These partnerships have a positive impact not only for those who participate directly, but for the broader community.”
Next Practices outlines core considerations for each case study, including sources of funding, forms of evaluation, and outcomes for each program. Partnerships featured in Next Practices include:
Partnerships with Law Enforcement
Pérez Art Museum Miami is part of “Art Detectives,” a partnership with The Links Inc., Breakthrough Miami, and the Miami-Dade County Police Department that brings together South Florida law enforcement and youth from under-served communities, sparking creative thinking and cross-community dialogue around the urgent issue of police interactions with young people of color.
Partnerships with Colleges and Universities
The McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX, partners with University of Texas Health Science Center to offer “Art Rounds,” an elective class designed to broaden the experience of medical professionals through close observation, communication, and sustained engagement with a work of art.
Partnerships with Immigrant and Refugee Services
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO, partners with Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas to develop a supplemental curriculum for Catholic Charities’ 10-week citizenship preparation classes. The curriculum developed for these classes uses the museum’s collection as a learning tool for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Naturalization Test.
Partnerships with Libraries, Science Centers, and other Cultural Institutions
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) partners with the Los Angeles Public Library to create “Veterans Make Movies,” a series of workshops that teach veterans how to write, shoot, and edit their own short films that express their perspectives and experiences.
Partnerships with Youth Development Organizations
The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, collaborates with Youth & Opportunity United (Y.O.U.) on the Leadership Project—a program for Y.O.U. high-school students that fosters youth development through critical dialogue around issues of social justice, using the museum’s exhibitions as a touchstone.
Partnerships with K–12 schools and school districts
Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, TN, partners with Shelby County Schools to offer a week-long, free summer camp for students in the area in grades 1–8.
This is the fourth edition of the Next Practices series, following 2016’s Next Practices in Diversity and Inclusion, 2015’s Next Practices in Digital and Technology, and 2014’s Next Practices in Art Museum Education. The Next Practices series is designed to inspire new ideas as well as provide practical guidance on planning and implementing innovative initiatives.
AAMD’s Next Practices in Partnerships can be downloaded here.
The Association of Art Museum Directors advances the profession by cultivating leadership capabilities of directors, advocating for the field, and fostering excellence in art museums. An agile, issues-driven organization, AAMD has three desired outcomes: engagement, leadership, and shared learning. Further information about AAMD’s professional practice guidelines and position papers is available at www.aamd.org.