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Alexandria Moves Forward on Museum Accreditation

City's Office of Historic Alexandria has applied for its museum system to become accredited by the American Association of Museums.

The got the go-ahead from City Council to move forward on its plan to have its entire museum system accredited.

Council on Tuesday approved OHA’s five-year plan as an element required by the American Association of Museums’ accreditation process and authorized the city manager to execute any necessary and related documentation.

Of the more than 17,500 museums in the United States, only about 4 percent are accredited and only about 1 percent of museum systems are accredited.

The accreditation, which recognizes nationally recognized standards and best practices by the museum profession, would be valid for 15 years.

The American Association of Museums has twice accredited three Alexandria museums—, and Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site.

OHA submitted its application in July 2011 and the reviewers visited Alexandria this month.

OHA Director Lance Mallamo told City Council on Tuesday that accreditation is the “gold standard” that could pave the way for more gifts and donations.

Donators would have additional confidence that the city’s museum system meets the highest standard and conforms to best practices, he said.

The five-year plan is a departmental operational plan and doesn’t represent a citywide master plan. Additionally, it does not bind council to future funding of OHA as that process occurs with the city’s annual budget.

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