Resources for Museum Studies Students and Emerging Professionals

If you have suggestions of other resources that may be helpful, please contact Suse at [email protected].


AAM Latino Network: The Latino Network of the American Alliance of Museums represents Latino professionals working in museums and cultural institutions in the United States. It offers expertise to U.S. museums interested in better understanding of Latino issues and engaging Latino audiences through the development of exhibitions, collections, public programs, and education initiatives, among others.

The Latino Network serves as a liaison between the U.S. museum community and Latin American and the Caribbean museums, research centers, and cultural institutions. The Latino Network offers guidance to museums across the Americas in their efforts to create partnerships and collaborations.

AAM LGBTQ Alliance: The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Alliance (LGBTQ Alliance) of the American Alliance of Museums provides a forum for communication and dialogue and is committed to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and inquiry with particular respect to sexual orientation and gender identity within museums.

The LGBTQ Alliance facilitates transgender, queer, gay, lesbian and bisexual visibility by promoting and enhancing awareness, understanding and acceptance regarding museum-related LGBTQ issues. Its focus includes both internal needs and opportunities including staff, leadership and organizational structure, and external, stakeholder-related work ranging from visitor amenities and messaging to programs and collections. The network serves as a visible and accessible safe space for museum professionals who identify as LGBTQ or allies. We welcome AAM members of all sexual orientations and gender identities and encourage involvement across the organization in promoting museums that include LGBTQ voices at every level.


Gender Transition and Transgender Inclusion in the Museum Workplace: A Toolkit for Trans Individuals, Institutions, and Coworkers

Arts Administrators of Color DMV Network - Committed to empowering artists and arts administrators in the DMV (DC, Maryland, and Virginia) area by advocating for access, diversity, inclusion, and equity in the arts.

D.C. Emerging Museum Professionals

Emerging Museum Professionals (EMP), an initiative of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) is designed to facilitate social and professional opportunities for museums professionals in the first 10 years of their career. We aim to create a fun and accessible platform for young and emerging museum professionals to build a strong network of colleagues and advance their careers through a variety of opportunities, including workshops, mixers, and museum and gallery tours.

Interested in joining AAM?

Follow on Twitter!


EMP Blog

#drinkingaboutmuseums is a semi-regular meet-up for museum professionals that takes place in cities all over America and the world, and D.C. has a fairly active chapter. Keep an eye out on the #drinkingaboutmuseums hashtag on Twitter for details of meetups, and come along to meet up members of D.C.'s cultural community over drinks in an open dialogue about the museum sector.


USHMM Summer Research Assistantships for Graduate Students

The Summer Graduate Research Assistant Program acquaints promising MA-level and first-year PhD students with Holocaust studies by encouraging participation in the broad range of scholarly and publicly available educational programs offered by the Museum during the summer months. Assistants will work closely with assigned staff mentors who will assign tasks related to research and program goals.

Professional Organizations

Conferences to Attend/Present At

One of the best opportunities to grow your professional network is through presenting at, attending, or volunteering at a conference. Many of these conferences has scholarship or presentation opportunities for grad students. GWU students regularly receive scholarships to attend these conferences. If you wish to apply for a scholarship or to propose a session (including lightning talks, case studies, or a poster session) and want some help, talk to your academic advisor.

  • American Alliance of Museums annual conference – The American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo is the largest gathering of museum professionals in the world.
  • MuseWeb (Museums and the Web) – MW events explore advanced research and exemplary applications of digital practice for cultural, natural and scientific heritage.
  • Museum Computer Network conference – MCN hosts an annual conference bringing together cultural heritage professionals interested in advancing digital in their organizations. Attendees come from all areas of practice, from IT to digital outreach and visitor engagement, to collections, conservation, archival, libraries, curatorial, education, marketing, and more. Each conference features a variety of interactions and professional development opportunities.
  • Mid-Atlantic Museums Association – Building Museums – This symposium is for architects, museum leaders, planners, project managers, technical experts, and all those who plan or implement new construction, renovation, or expansion projects for museums. Whether your institution is a small historic site under renovation, a mid-sized art museum planning an expansion, or a large children’s museum building a new facility, this symposium is for you.
  • The Association of Art Museum Curators – The Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) hosts an Annual Conference & Meeting, attracting over 400 curators and guests from around the world. It is the only conference of its kind where are curators from every discipline and field meet to discuss important issues facing the profession. The multi-day event includes mentorship opportunities, networking, professional development workshops, panel discussions, receptions, award announcements, receptions at host city cultural institutions, and a full membership meeting.
  • Small Museums Association – The annual SMA conference attracts more than 250 museum professionals, board members, and volunteers from a wide variety of small museums. They attend sessions on topics ranging from collections and education to staffing and board issues. We offer a large Museum Resource Hall and plenty of informal networking opportunities for you to talk with (and get ideas from!) other small museum professionals and volunteers.
  • MuseumNext – With presentations from international museum leaders, innovators and creative visionaries,MuseumNext USA will leave you buzzing with new ideas.
  • American Association for State and Local History
  • VEX Conference The Visitor Experience Conference combines workshops, panels, networking events and more to provide museum professionals with approaches to understanding the visitor experience.


Hashtags to follow (Twitter)

There is an active cohort of museum professionals on Twitter. If you’re interested in joining the online conversation, try checking out some of these hashtags (some are also used on Instagram).

  • #musesocial - museums and social media
  • #musetech - museums and technology
  • #AskACurator - the official hashtag for International Ask A Curator day (this year, on September 13)
  • #museumEdChat - museum educators etc
  • #museumworkersspeak - issues related to museum professionals, particularly around equity
  • #museumsrespondtoferguson - social justice and civic action
  • #itweetmuseums
  • #museumselfie - people taking photos in museums

Dana Allen Greil has a great list of hashtags to follow. And if you're still getting your head around what a hashtag is and does, this is a good place to start.

(Some) Museum Podcasts

  • Museopunks - the podcast for the progressive museum (hosted by GW Museum Studies professor Suse Anderson)
  • Museum Archipelago - A tiny show guiding you through the rocky landscape of museums. Museum Archipelago believes that no museum is an island and that museums are not neutral.
  • Museums in Strange Places - A podcast for people who love museums, stories, culture, and exploring the world. In each episode I visit a different museum to discover its stories and get to know the fascinating people who run it.
  • Cultura Conscious - Join Paula Santos, a podcast addict and lover of everything arts and culture, in conversation with other museum and cultural workers, educators, artists, activists, and leaders about how we work with our communities and the public at large. 
  • Whitest Cube - A podcast about art institutions from the perspective of people of color. We talk to artists, museum workers, and people of color about the past, present, and future of art institutions.
  • The C Word -  We talk about all sorts of things from the perspective of conservation professionals, from museum trends and new technology to the big issues like pay and staying safe at work. Feel free to listen even if you’re not a conservator though – we welcome people from all sorts of backgrounds!

Useful Articles/Career Resources