The Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society has been selected to participate in the American Alliance of Museums’ 2023 Museum Assessment Program, a critical step toward museum accreditation.
AAM, founded in 1906, is a national organization representing the entire scope of the museum field.
Since 1975, the SCV Historical Society has been a resource for the valley and surrounding areas of local history, preserving artifacts and sharing the stories of the people who founded and grew the communities of Newhall, Saugus, Canyon Country and Valencia into the city of Santa Clarita and beyond.
“It’s a great honor for the Historical Society to have been chosen for the Museum Assessment Program,” society President Alan Pollack said in a prepared statement. “This reflects our determination to evolve from a small, volunteer-driven local history advocate to a full, professional museum presence in Santa Clarita. We intend to create one of the premier local history museums in Southern California.”
For over 50 years, the Museum Assessment Program has helped more than 5,000 museums of all types strengthen their operations, plan for the future and meet current professional standards.
“We served a relatively small, incorporated town of about 70,000 people when we opened in 1980 with one museum building in Hart Park,” society Vice President Leon Worden said in the release. “Today, we need to be serving a community that is not only four or five times larger but also more sophisticated and diverse with higher expectations for a museum experience.
“We assembled a high-powered steering committee of local community leaders last year and retained a professional museum consultant to help us plan a new museum in one of our eight buildings, and you will be hearing more about it in the months ahead,” Worden said.
“In the meantime, we’ve been doing the work behind the scenes that the public doesn’t necessarily see. We’ve started to ramp up staffing, and we are implementing ‘best practices’ in collections care to curate a massive collection of artifacts and photographs,” Worden added. “We expect the MAP assessment to serve as both a checkup to ensure we’re on the right track and a roadmap for further improvements as we pursue accreditation in our field.”
Conducted over the course of a year, MAP assessments help museums look at both functional and strategic aspects of their operations; examine diversity, equity, access, and inclusion issues as they relate to the assessment focus; and include a peer-reviewed site visit.