MSV Receives Highest National Recognition
Awarded Accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums

Winchester, VA 11/19/19…The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) has achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public.

Alliance Accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for more than 45 years, the Alliance’s museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation, and public accountability.

According to MSV Executive Director and CEO Dana Hand Evans, achieving AAM accreditation is a significant milestone for the MSV. She notes that becoming an AAM-accredited museum has been included in the Museum’s Strategic Plan since 1997, adding that MSV staff and volunteer board of directors have spent the last nine years preparing for the accreditation process.

Wilborn Roberson, president of the MSV Board of Directors, noted that the AAM team that conducted the MSV site visit was particularly impressed by the Museum’s commitment to community programming and innovative use of its landscape, including The Trails at the MSV project. The team also recognized the region’s support of the MSV, as evidenced by high participation levels in programming, robust donor giving, and a growing membership.

Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, just over 1,070 have achieved the important accreditation milestone. The MSV is one of only 58 museums accredited in Virginia.

Accreditation is a very rigorous but highly rewarding process that examines all aspects of a museum’s operations. To earn accreditation a museum first must conduct a year of self-study and then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. The Alliance’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, considers the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation.

“Accredited museums are a community of institutions that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to excellence,” said Laura L. Lott, Alliance president and CEO. “Accreditation is clearly a significant achievement, of which both the institutions and the communities they serve can be extremely proud.”

A regional cultural center that attracts more than 92,000 visitors yearly and has 2,553 members, the MSV includes galleries displaying permanent collections and changing exhibitions, the Glen Burnie House, seven acres of gardens, a Makerspace Studio, and is the future home of The Trails at the MSV. The trails project will open an additional 90 acres of the MSV landscape to the public as a free-admission art park offering three miles of trails for walking, running, or biking. In addition, and in partnership with the Frederick County Parks and Recreation Department, the MSV operates a portion of its Rose Hill Farm as a free-admission park featuring a 1.25-mile walking trail with Civil War interpretive signage, a picnic shelter, and playground equipment. More information about the MSV is available at or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 235.–END–

About the American Alliance of Museums
The American Alliance of Museums represents more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field. For more information, visit