The American Association of Museums (AAM) is the premier support organization for museums. AAM developed its accreditation program in 1971. Since that time it has become widely recognized as a “seal of approval” for museums, regardless of size. The accreditation program examines the professional and ethical practices of a museum in regards to its overall management, governance and general operations, collections management, standards of exhibition, and acquisition of works for the museum. The program is driven by rigorous standards and careful peer review. AAM accreditation is widely accepted as recognizing the highest level of certification of professional standards in the museum field internationally.

This indicator tallies museums that have been certified in the AAM accreditation program, presented per capita. There were about 800 such museums in late 2010, found in 392 counties. It is scaled to show the number of such museums per 100,000 county residents.

Additional Information: Average county indicator value = 1.5. Median county indicator value = 0.7


Fast Facts from the Arts Index

The nonprofit arts grow – despite a recession!

The number of nonprofit arts organizations has grown annually, reaching 113,000 in 2010. In the past decade, nonprofit arts organizations grew 49% (76,000 to 113,000), a greater rate than all nonprofit organizations, which grew 32% (1.2 million to 1.6 million).