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Mission & Institutional Planning

Community Engagement


Cultures & Literacies Through Art for the 21st Century (CALTA21) is a dynamic online environment that helps empower adult immigrants and their families through collaborations with museums, institutions of higher education and literacy organizations.

Community + Museum: Guidelines for Collaboration

These guidelines were developed over a three-year period of collaboration between Native and non-Native museum professionals, cultural leaders and artists. The guidelines are intended as a resource for community members working in collaboration with museums. 

Creative Aging

The Center for the Future of Museums TrendsWatch from 2012 includes an item on developing programs for senior citizens.(PDF, 28 pages - see page 17)

Editable Cultural Equity Statement

Americans for the Arts shares their Cultural Equity Statement and provides downloadable resources to create one.

Engaging and Empowering New Immigrants through Art

The Center for the Future of Museums blog post from June 28, 2010 featured how The Nassau County Museum of Art used an IMLS grant to fund CALTA21, a model initiative bringing English language learning into the museum setting.

Interpreting LGBT History at Museums and Historic Sites

The Association for State and Local History (AASLH) published Interpreting LGBT History at Museums and Historic Sites, available to purchase from Rowman & Littlefield, is a straightforward, accessible guidebook for museum and history professionals.

Interpreting Native American History and Culture

Interpreting Native American History and Culture at Museums and Historic Sites, available through Rowman & Littlefield, features ideas and suggested best practices for the staff and board of museums that care for collections of Native material culture, and who work with Native American culture, history, and communities.

Intersectionality Toolkit

A practical guide for both individual activists and organizations to learn more about Intersectionality and its principles, and to provide a selection of activities to explore practice around inclusiveness.

LGBTQ Heritage Theme Study

The National Park Service shares LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History. Each chapter is written and peer-reviewed by experts in LGBTQ Studies.

Living Homes  for Cultural Expression North American Native Perspectives on Creating Community Museums

In this Editions publication from the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), editors Karen Coody Cooper and Nicolasa I. Sandoval assembled stories—from an Alutiiq community on Alaska’s Kodiak Island to Hopi people in Arizonas—that speak to the concerns and aspirations that unite indigenous peoples in the lands known now as the Americas.(PDF, 121 pages)

National Dialogues on Immigration

Models from leading history museums and cultural centers across the country for engaging communities in discussions about immigration employing innovative dialogue tools.

Next Practices in Diversity and Inclusion

The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) presents Next Practices in Diversity and Inclusion, a collection of 51 submissions from AAMD members exploring a wide range of ways that art museums are striving to become more diverse and inclusive places, both inside and out.

Portland Children's Museum

The Portland Children's Museum shares its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Post-Election Engagement

The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience shares this Front Page Dialogue on how to engage your community in discussion following the election. (PDF, 3 pages)

Practicing Civic Engagement: Making Your Museum into a Community Living Room

In this paper, published in the Journal of Museum Education, July 2013, Stephen Long proposes a definition of community and makes the case that civic engagement can help a museum address pressing social concerns and needs.

Racial Equity Impact Assessment Toolkit

Race Forward, The Center for Racial Justice Innovation, created this website to shares its Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA). The REIA provides a systematic examination of how different racial and ethnic groups will likely be affected by a proposed action or decision. 

Racial Equity Tools

This site offers tools, research, tips, curricula, and ideas for people who want to increase their own understanding and to help those working toward justice at every level – in systems, organizations, communities, and the culture at large.

Race and Policing

Longstanding issues of racial profiling and systemic violence highlight the shortcomings of the criminal justice system. This document provides one model for engaging visitors in dialogue on race and policing. (PDF, 4 pages)

Responsive and Accessible: How Museums are Using Research to Better Engage Diverse Cultural Communities

Cecilia Garibay, discusses how museums are using research to better engage diverse audiences in this January/February 2011 ASTC Dimensions post.

Strengthening Immigrant Voices through Museum & Community College Partnerships

In this Winter 2013 volume of Diversity & Democracy (a journal of the Association of American Colleges and Universities), Margot Edlin, Patricia Lannes and Kitty Bateman discuss how they used an IMLS grant to fund CALTA21, a model initiative Lannes developed to bring English language learning into the museum setting.

Stories of Inclusion-Inclusive Practices at Cultural Institutions

In this three-part Alliance webcast series, advocates and experts explore issues of accessibility and inclusion from the perspective of visitors, staff and facility or program users in museums, libraries, archives and other cultural institutions.

True Inclusion

In this September/October 2015 Museum magazine article, Day Al-Mohamed discusses the lack of representation for disability narratives. (PDF, 4 pages)

Visitor Voices

In this September/October 2015 Museum magazine article Annie Leist, Sheri Levinsky-Raskin, Barbara Johnson Stemler explore issues of accessibility and inclusion from the perspective of visitors, staff and facility or program users in museums, libraries, archives and other cultural institutions.

Young Historians project

The Greensboro Historical Museum developed a Young Historians program to help engage immigrant communities. This short PowerPoint presentation can help other institutions develop their own immigrant community engagement programs. (PDF, 13 pages)

Institutional Planning

Bringing Self-Examination to the Center of Social Justice Work in Museums

In this January/February 2016 Museum magazine article, Rose Paquet Kinsley and Aletheia Wittman of the Incluseum, discuss how museums should be introspective as well as outward looking outside when aligning with social justice causes. (PDF, 6 pages)  

Information on Disability through the American Community Survey

The U.S. Census Bureau provides several tools to help communities and organizations determine the needs for disabled persons in their area.

Keep Moving Forward

In this January/February 2016 Museum magazine article, AAM prints Johnnetta Betsch Cole's powerful keynote address at the Alliance’s 2015 annual meeting in Atlanta, GA. (PDF, 7 pages)  

Keynote Address by Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole

The Alliance shares this video of the General Session Keynote Address by Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole from the American Alliance of Museums 2015 annual meeting in Atlanta, GA.

Museums & Society 2034: Trends and Potential Futures

The Center for the Future of Museums and Reach Advisors share this discussion paper from 2008 exploring the challenges society and museums face in the areas of demographic change, globalization, new forms of telecommunication, and the consumption of culture. (PDF, 20 pages)

Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide

The Annie E. Casey Foundation shares this downloadable Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide.

We Must Decolonize Our Museums

Recorded at TEDxDirigo in November 2016, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko shares the urgency of museum decolonizing practices and offers three ways to approach the decolonization of museums. 

Visitor Services

Making Your Meetings Deaf-Friendly

A workshop in advance of a National Association of the Deaf conference shows how meeting and hospitality professionals can improve their Deaf-friendly customer service.

Tips On Interacting With People With Disabilities

The United Spinal Association shares this online booklet for anyone who wants to interact more effectively with people with disabilities.

Website Accessibility


The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has developed a number of resources to help organizations develop more accessible websites.

American Alliance of Museums Strategic Plan

The Alliance 2016-2020 Strategic Plan includes initiatives on Accessibility, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

American Society of Association Executives

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) provides a webpage on its site exclusively related to accessibility of meetings at the ASAE offices.

Developing Accessible Websites

The University of Washington provides information about accessible websites.

How to Make your Website More Inclusive to All Audiences

In this Alliance webcast, presenters provide a general overview of accessible website design focusing on standards and best practices, graphic design aspects, institution-wide engagement, user testing, and regulatory and legal issues related to websites as public accommodation.

Make Your Website Accessible Before You Are Forced To

In this July/August 2016 Museum magazine article, Sina Bahram shares his views regarding compliance with the upcoming changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) related to websites. (PDF, 2 pages)

Making Your Website Senior Friendly

The National Institute on Aging and the National Library of Medicine has a checklist for making websites senior-friendly. The 15-page document lists ways to design readable text and navigational features. It also makes suggestions for style and use of popular features like photos, videos, and audio.

Museum Accessibility Research: Publications and Advisory Board

Art Beyond Sight embarked on a series on Museum Accessibility Research and Development Projects in 2008. These projects are based on ongoing and expanding partnerships with large metro area art museums, and a growing number of smaller museums, university museums and historic sites.

Screen Reader Example

Art Beyond Sight shares this video on YouTube showing how the JAWS (Job Access With Speech) screen reader works on the home page of the Handbook for Museums and Educators.

Web Accessibility Guidelines

These guidelines were implemented at the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.

Web Accessibility Guidelines Checklist

This checklist can help build accessibility into the website development process.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

The World Wide Web Consortium provides information on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.


WebAIM shares this great resource to divers deep into technical accessibility.

WAI Resources

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has a Web Accessibility Initiative and numerous resources; including guidelines, quick tips, checklists, techniques, and training materials for making web content accessible.