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Polk County History Center Receives Highest National Recognition

Bartow, Florida (Aug. 20, 2019) – The Polk County History Center has achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, 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. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.

“This distinguished achievement represents an accomplishment in which all our residents can again claim to be Polk Proud,” said Myrtice Young, the historic preservation manager at the History Center. “Our community is assured of the commitment that we are upholding the highest professional standards for education, public service and collections care established for the museum field. Our History Center joins the prestigious community of museums across the country that demonstrate a commitment to excellence.” 

Of the nation’s nearly 33,000 museums, only 1,078 are currently accredited. Also, the History Center is one of only 15 museums accredited in Florida. 

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.”

About the Polk County History Center: The Polk County History Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 100 E. Main St. in Bartow. Visit www.polkhistorycenter.org or call (863) 534-4386 for more information on exhibits and programming.

About the American Alliance of Museums: The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.

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