High Named To National Museum Accrediting Commission

Todays News

The leader for one of Sarasota’s most well-known cultural institutions will soon have a voice in accrediting museums nationwide. The American Alliance of Museums appointed Steven High, executive director for The Ringling, to its Accreditation Commission.

“I am honored to be selected by the Nominating Committee to join the Accreditation Commission,” High said. “Earning accreditation is an important distinction of excellence for museums and I look forward to working with my fellow commissioners to uphold the standards for accreditation set forth by AAM.”

AAM Chair Jorge Zamanillo announced High’s appointment, along with five others: Greta Brunschwyler, executive director for Millicent Rogers Museum in New Mexico; Norman Burns, president and CEO of Conner Prairie in Indiana; Quantia “Key” M. Fletcher, museum director for Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Arkansas; Scott Harris, executive director of the University of Mary Washington Museums in Virginia; and Laurie Norton Moffatt, director and CEO of the Norman Rockwell Museum in Massachusetts.

High’s term on the commission will begin in 2024. In total, 78 applied for six open spots on the panel.

“The Nominating Committee was extremely pleased by the strong response to the call for self-nominations, the range of museum types represented, and the high caliber of the nominees and their enthusiasm and commitment to nurturing excellence in the museum field,” said Carrie Rebora Barratt, AAM Board Member and Nominating Committee Chair. “With so many outstanding nominees to consider for only a handful of seats, our charge was challenging.”

The commission meets three times a year to independently rule on the accreditation status for museums across the country. The AAM has operated since 1906, serving as the preeminent advocate for museums, and its accreditation program is more than 50 years old.

High previously served on the AAM board of directors from 2006 through 2009, when he was the director of the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah Georgia. He led that museum until 2011, when he took over as executive director of The Ringling. He previously led the Nevada Museum of Art, the Anderson Gallery at the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University, and the Baxter Gallery at the Portland School of Art in Oregon. He served as president of the Nevada Museums Association from 2002 to 2004.

He also has been an accreditation peer reviewer for 15 years, so the process and standards are not new to the museum leader. He also helped lead the John and Mable Ringling of Art through the re-accreditation process, and also led the Nevada Museum of Art through a similar effort during his time there.

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