July 17, 2021 – The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM) Board of Directors is excited and proud to announce that the Museum has earned national accreditation from the prestigious American Alliance of Museums (AAM).
To reach this important goal, the Museum spent three years working toward its AAM accreditation by improving its processes and procedures, organizing collections and other policies, completing an extensive
year-long self-study report and application, writing a new 5-Year Strategic Plan, and undergoing a novel “virtual” site visit by a team of museum peer reviewers. Once SBMM had submitted all of its documents
and the visiting committee had completed its report, AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent body of museum professionals, awarded the Museum a full 10-year accreditation at its annual meeting June 17-18.
According to Evan Richardson, Chair of the AAM Accreditation Commission, “This means the museum meets National Standards and Best Practices for U.S. Museums and joins a community of institutions that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to excellence. Through a rigorous process of self-assessment and review by its peers, the museum has shown itself to be a good steward of its resources held in the public trust and committed to a philosophy of continual institutional growth.” Of 33,000 museums in the United States, only 1,069 are currently accredited.
Richardson went on to say, “We commend the museum for its educational programming and project-based learning approach, as well as efforts to widen its audience to reach Title 1 schools in the county. The Navigators Circle program and the Code of Ethics can serve as interesting models for other institutions. “
With this AAM accreditation, SBMM can now join the ranks of some of the most prominent museums in the United States, such as Colonial Williamsburg, the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island, and the San Diego Museum of Art; and as a result, the Museum will now be able to attract more new exhibits from across the country.