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In early 2014, leaders from the state museum associations, IMLS, and AAM gathered in Arkansas for Museums United – a special convening to identify the shared needs and interests of state museum associations.

A key finding of the convening was that limited money, time, and staff are persistent barriers for state museum associations in achieving their full potential. In April 2015, with IMLS support, 5 state museum associations launched Museums United Phase Two, an initiative in which all state museum associations are working collaboratively to develop critical tools and resources that will help everyone address these barriers.

Our group aims to:

  • Develop an online association management system that will help state museum associations manage membership, events, and their websites.
  • Create an online platform where state museum associations can communicate and collaborate.
  • Develop an online toolkit to share best practices and resources about association management for board members and staff. Create a sustainable model for continued collaboration and leadership among state museum associations.

Key Partners include:

  • Celeste DeWald, California Association of Museums
  • Malinda Horton, Florida Association of Museums
  • Brenda Granger, Oklahoma Museums Association
  • Ruth Ann Rugg, Texas Association of Museums
  • Jennifer Thomas, Virginia Association of Museums

A Steering Committee, comprised of leaders from various state museum associations, works with the key partners to oversee the project. Steering Committee Members (other than the key partners) include:

  • Rusty Baker, Pennsylvania Museums
  • Dugan Murphy, Maine Archives & Museums
  • Dan Brosz, Association of South Dakota Museums
  • Melissa Kendrick, Florida Association of Museums
  • Dulce Kersting, Idaho Association of Museums
  • Lin Nelson-Mayson, Minnesota Association of Museums
  • Johnna McEntee, Ohio Museums Association
  • Debra Mitchell, Montana Museums
  • Lisa Pugh, New Mexico Association of Museums
  • Cynthia Sweet, Iowa Museum Association
  • Jayceen Craven Walker, Utah Museums Association

In addition, task forces consisting of staff and board members from all of the state museum associations are participating in the implementation of each goal area, thus increasing the relevancy and usefulness of the proposed products and services. Click here for a roster of task force members.

Keep up with the progress of Museums United Phase Two, by clicking here to subscribe to our e-newsletter. (Please note you may unsubscribe at any time.)

For additional information about Museums United Phase Two, please contact Paige Faulkner at and/or Celeste DeWald at

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, grant number MG-00-15-0106-15.