The Westmoreland Receives Highest National Recognition

Awarded Re-Accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums

GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania (April 7, 2021) – The Westmoreland Museum of American Art has again achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public. The Westmoreland was initially accredited in 1972. All museums must undergo a reaccreditation review at least every 10 years to maintain accredited status.

Alliance Accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for over 45 years, the Alliance’s museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.

“I am incredibly proud of the staff team who worked together on completing the reaccreditation process, which includes a comprehensive examination of policies and procedures as well as a peer review. Receiving this award from the American Alliance of Museums validates that our operational and other organizational practices meet the highest of standards in the museum industry,” commented Anne Kraybill, The Richard M. Scaife Director/CEO of The Westmoreland.
In the reaccreditation award letter sent to Museum in March, Evans Richardson, Chief of Staff of The Studio Museum in Harlem and Chair of the AAM Accreditation Commission wrote, “The Westmoreland Museum of American Art is an impressive institution with quality collections care, strong community relations, and capable leadership that has shown a keen awareness of the social climate. We commend the attention to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) in the museum’s exhibitions program and the commitment to building staff and board diversity embedded in the strategic plan. The museum’s commitment to retaining all staff during the pandemic is laudable.”

Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, over 1070 are currently accredited. The Westmoreland is one of only 35 museums accredited in Pennsylvania.

Accreditation is a very rigorous but highly rewarding process that examines all aspects of a museum’s operations. To earn accreditation a museum first must conduct a year of self-study, and then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, considers the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation.

“Accredited museums are a community of institutions that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to excellence,” said Laura L. Lott, Alliance president and CEO. “Accreditation is clearly a significant achievement, of which both the institutions and the communities they serve can be extremely proud.”