AAMV President’s Annual Report 2020-2021
A look back at my first year as President of AAMV is tough – obviously the world has suffered, museums have faced unprecedented challenges, volunteers and volunteer programs have been sidelined or forced to pivot to new ways of doing business, and AAMV has continued our work, but admittedly at a slower pace. I feel some regrets about the things we were not able to accomplish this year, but also mindful of the many stresses our board and members and world have faced. The pride I feel about the things we did accomplish, including several entirely new initiatives that came into place due to the pandemic, far outweighs any dismay. In particular the two surveys we were able to complete about museum volunteer programs and the impacts of COVID-19 have provided invaluable data that was not being collected otherwise. Being able to implement a membership fee waiver for those for whom the membership fees were a barrier is vitally important to me, and something that we will continue to offer. This past year also saw our first virtual happy hours, and we will continue to provide this important networking opportunity.
Volunteers are the backbones of their museums. They are the (sometimes) unsung heroes that literally keep museums functioning and thriving by giving their passion, skills and time. As the only professional organization for museum volunteers and volunteer leaders, AAMV will continue to serve the museum community and the millions of museum volunteers.
Looking ahead, I am excited about the DEAI work that our board is working on – in particular the resources we are creating to help museum volunteer programs start or continue their DEAI work. A silver lining of the pandemic is we are all so much more comfortable with online programming, and a new AAMV-produced webinar series is in the works. A new Early Career Support task force within our board is working to explore partnerships, mentoring and training for those new to our field. Continuing to provide high quality podcasts, newsletters and other resources and programs are also on our agenda for the next year. I am confident that this year will be better and I look forward to continuing our work to make it better!