Centenary's Meadows Museum of Art awarded re-accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary College's Meadows Museum of Art has been re-accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition afforded the nation's museums. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, governments, funders, outside agencies, and the museum-going public. The Meadows was initially accredited in 1980 and has been re-accredited three times, equating to 40 years of museum excellence. All museums must undergo a reaccreditation review at least every ten years to maintain accredited status.

Accreditation is a rigorous 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.

"For the self-study, we produced about 100 pages of text, covering our mission, goals, diversity efforts, the Museum's support of Centenary's curriculum and the success of our Museum Management Program, our growing attendance, and secure facilities and safe environmental conditions for the storage of art," explains Lisa Nicoletti, professor of Art History and Visual Studies at Centenary and co-director of the Meadows Museum. "In addition to the self-study, other AAM accredited museum directors visited the Meadows to interview its staff and student interns, and to inspect the Museum from top to bottom. We received the highest marks for our daily operations."

AAM 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 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.

"Accreditation allows us to attract great art exhibitions and reaffirms to our visitors, members, and donors that they've made a great choice when they visit and support the Meadows," says Nicoletti.

Established in 1975, the Meadows Museum boasts a collection of over 1,600 works and is an important part of Shreveport-Bossier's cultural fabric.

"The programming at the Meadows takes seriously the intersection of the College and the community. It is both student-centered and outward-facing," explains Dr. Jenifer K. Ward, Provost and Dean of the College at Centenary. "Far from being just a place for the veneration of objects, it is a place of live engagement with the ways in which art and artists address the beauty and challenges of our world and its cultural history."

Of the nation's estimated 35,000 museums, over 1,000 are currently accredited. The Meadows Museum is one of only 21 accredited museums in Louisiana, and is the only accredited museum in North Louisiana.

"Accredited museums are a community of institutions that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to excellence," says 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."

About the Meadows Museum of Art
The Meadows Museum of Art is located on the campus of Centenary College of Louisiana at 2911 Centenary Boulevard in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Museum is free and open to the public Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 12-4 p.m. For more information or to schedule fieldtrips, call the Museum at 318.869.5040 or visit www.centenary.edu/meadows.

About the American Alliance of Museums
The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 30,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance is the only organization representing the entire scope of the broad museum community. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.

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