BLOWING ROCK — First opened in 2011, the Blowing Rocks Art & History Museum is currently taking steps to become an accredited museum. The move comes after the BRAHM applied to the Museum Assessment Program, or MAP, a program administered by the American Alliance of Museums geared towards strengthening the operations of small, to mid-sized museums across the U.S.
“I love this kind of thing, because I feel like an outside set of eyes is always going to be beneficial,” said Lee Carol Giduz, the museum’s executive director. “Let’s have these conversations, let’s see what we need to be doing because it’s only going to make us better and that’s what we want.”
Since its foundation in 1989, the MAP program has helped more than 5,000 museums raise the bar of operational excellence through analysis of strengths and weakness, as well as pointing out opportunities for institutions. By participating in the MAP program, the BRAHM hopes to improve upon their weak points and steer itself on a course towards accreditation, which according to Giduz may happen within the next five years.
“When you’re in the midst of doing something you don’t always see as clearly as that outside lens does. We’re quite excited about it,” said Giduz. “We are so proud of all that the BRAHM has accomplished in its short 9 years. This assessment will give us helpful information as we chart our course for the second decade.”
This year, the MAP assessment process is being slowed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with virtual tours and Zoom meetings taking place of in person walk-throughs and assessments.
“In a normal year, we would be done with it,” Giduz said. “Typically we would have been assigned our consultant in about May and they would have come in June or July, visited, completed their report and we would have it or be close to having it by now.”
The BRAHM hopes to have their MAP assessment completed and returned by January of 2012, after that they can use the program’s feedback to make improvements to the museum’s operations.
To learn more about the BRAHM, their current exhibits and programs, visit https://www.blowingrockmuseum.org/.