Museums Alaska is the statewide museum association of individuals and institutions committed to:
- Preserving the natural and human history of Alaska;
- Improving museums as educational institutions;
- Promoting training of staff;
- Acting as a clearing house for information of interest to museums;
- Promoting the improvement of museums in all areas;
- Cooperating with similar organizations, and
- Promoting understanding of the purpose, function and areas of Alaska’s museums
The mission of Museums Alaska is to maintain an association of Alaska’s museum professionals and volunteers in order to provide opportunities for improvement of museum and cultural center services in Alaska and to enhance public understanding of the purposes and functions of Alaska’s museums and cultural centers.
To accomplish its organizational purpose, Museums Alaska maintains a central office to receive and disburse information about museums, cultural centers and their activities, and to collect and share professional opportunities. Museums Alaska publishes the quarterly newsletter, Network, and organizes an annual meeting and conference to focus on the needs of Alaska museum professionals, volunteers, and their institutions.
More than 60 cultural institutions are represented in Museums Alaska with members as far north as Barrow and as far south as Ketchikan. The organization serves museums as remote as Anaktuvuk Pass Cultural Center, and as urban as the Anchorage Museum of History and Art. Membership is open to all individuals and institutions concerned about Alaska’s cultural heritage.
Meetings of the general membership are held annually in an Alaska community. The annual conference provides a forum for discussion of museum issues, an opportunity to network and connect with peers, and a celebration to recognize outstanding professional contributions.
The Museums Alaska quarterly newsletter Network connects this far-flung organization. Each Network contains information about Alaska’s museums, including exhibit and program ideas, conservation techniques, administrative issues, advocacy, statewide news, and training opportunities. Network informs the public’s understanding of the purposes and functions of Alaska’s museums and cultural centers.
Museums Alaska began in the late 1970’s as a committee of the Alaska Historical Society. The growth of the museum community led to the separate organization that incorporated in 1983. By 1987 Museums Alaska had expanded its membership, hired a part-time executive director to provide membership services, and began publishing a quarterly newsletter.