Conner Prairie Receives Highest National Recognition

Summer 2022 272

Museum awarded Re-Accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums

Conner Prairie has again achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition awarded to the nation’s museums. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public. All museums must undergo a reaccreditation review at least every 10 years to maintain accredited status. This is Conner Prairie’s fourth re-accreditation since 1977 and of the 97+ Museums in Indiana, only 26 are accredited by AAM.

“Conner Prairie is honored to receive our fourth re-accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums,” Conner Prairie President and CEO Norman Burns said. “Being an AAM accredited museum means that we meet and exceed National Standards and Best Practices for U.S. Museums and demonstrates our public commitment to upholding the museum field’s high professional standards for education, public service, and collections care. We are part of a small community of institutions (fewer than 4%) that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable for this level of excellence.”

Developed and sustained by museum professionals for 50 years, AAM’s 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.

“Conner Prairie’s commitment to upholding the highest standards of operation is paramount,” Conner Prairie Board of Directors Chair Reggie Henderson said. “It is an honor for Conner Prairie to receive re- accreditation and be a leader in excellence not only in the museum field, but in the community we serve as well.”

Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, only 1,099 are currently accredited. Accreditation is a very rigorous but highly rewarding process that examines all aspects of a museum’s operations. To earn accreditation a museum must first 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.”


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 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. For more information, visit

About Conner Prairie

Spanning more than 1,000 wooded acres in Central Indiana, Conner Prairie welcomes more than 400,000 visitors of all ages annually. As Indiana’s first Smithsonian affiliate, Conner Prairie offers various outdoor, historically themed encounters and indoor experiential learning spaces that combine history and art with science, technology, engineering, and math to offer an authentic look into history that shapes society today. Conner Prairie is a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization – accredited by the American Alliance of Museums – that relies on grants and philanthropic donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations for sustainability and growth. For more information visit

Holly Pasquinelli
Senior Manager of PR and Communications
317.776.6000 EXT. 267