The Neon Museum receives highest national recognition with accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums
The Neon Museum has achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition bestowed to museums in the United States.
Accreditation signifies excellence within the museum community and recognizes an institution’s commitment to good stewardship of resources as well as its pursuit of continual institutional growth and public accountability to its guests, community, governments, funders, and outside agencies.
Of the estimated 33,000 museums in the United States, fewer than 1,100 are currently accredited –about 3 percent of all museums. The Neon Museum is one of only six museums now accredited in Nevada.
“The Neon Museum is a truly unique institution,” AAM stated in its accreditation commendation. “The professionalism of the staff and invigorated education team, combined with the iconic Las Vegas sign collection, make The Neon Museum a leader in the care and collection of these objects. We also commend the museum’s thoughtfulness in pivoting its programming during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to continue to reach audiences.”
The Neon Museum executive director Aaron Berger said AAM accreditation is an “extraordinary achievement” that brings national recognition to the museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement.
“This recognition places the museum in the highest echelon, cementing its status alongside our nation’s preeminent museums,” stated Berger. “It’s particularly notable that just as Las Vegas has come into its own in terms of professional sports, our world-class city is also growing the diversity and breadth of its cultural offerings. With this accreditation, The Neon Museum takes its rightful place as one of Las Vegas’ most exceptional museums, offering an experience unlike anything else in the city or the world.”
Applauding The Neon Museum’s dedicated and talented museum staff for its hard work on the accreditation process over the past two-plus years, Berger especially commended interim executive director Bruce Spotleson, who ensured the museum lived up to AAM’s high standards every day, even during the pandemic.
Berger noted that accreditation also enables The Neon Museum to bring more exhibitions and significant works of art from other accredited institutions around the world to the museum, which typically welcomes more than 225,000 local, national and international visitors a year. “Accreditation also will bolster the Museum’s fundraising efforts as it plans for an expansion to the Reed Whipple Cultural Center,” he said.
“Nothing is more iconic Vegas than the historic signs that tell the story of our fascinating city through neon,” said Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman. “We are proud of The Neon Museum’s well-deserved accreditation that places it in the company of the country’s best and revered by museum-goers worldwide.”
“The Neon Museum has been instrumental in showcasing and preserving the work of the artists who lit up the Southern Nevada landscape and captivated millions of visitors over many decades. As a longtime supporter of The Neon Museum, I’m proud to see that they have received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums and I congratulate museum staff on their strong stewardship of our history,” said Rep. Dina Titus who has previously helped secure federal resources for the museum. “This recognition places The Neon Museum alongside other unique national attractions and furthers Las Vegas’ reputation as a world class entertainment, culture, and arts destination.”
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 industry by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and remain financially and ethically accountable to provide the best possible service to the public.
“The AAM Accreditation program is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary in a year that continues to be marked by constant disruptions and uncertainty, and earning accreditation demonstrates an unwavering commitment to excellence during times of great challenge.” added 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.”
Accreditation is a rigorous 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 rigorous 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 receives accreditation.
ABOUT THE NEON MUSEUM:
Founded in 1996, The Neon Museum is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying, and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, historic, arts and cultural enrichment. It has been ranked No. 1 in Las Vegas Weekly’s list of “Twenty Greatest Attractions in Las Vegas History,” one of “Sin City’s Best Retro Sites” by MSN, “No. 1 Las Vegas Museum Sure to Entertain and Educate” by USA Today’s 10best.com, “One of the Top 10 Coolest Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do” by Forbes.com, one of the “Top 10 Historic Spots in Las Vegas” by Vegas.com; one of “15 Most Fascinating Museums in the U.S.” by VacationIdea.com; and earns a consistent 4.5 out of 5 rating on TripAdvisor. On its 2.27-acre campus, The Neon Museum houses an outdoor exhibition space known as the Neon Boneyard (“boneyard” is traditionally the name for an area where items no longer in use are stored); the North Gallery, home to the immersive audiovisual spectacle “Brilliant!” which uses technology advances to re-illuminate more than 40 non-operational signs; the Boulevard Gallery outdoor exhibit and event space; and its visitors’ center, housed inside the former La Concha Motel lobby. The museum collection also includes nine restored signs installed as public art throughout downtown Las Vegas. Public education, outreach, research, and arts preservation represent a selection of the museum’s ongoing projects. The museum is located at 770 N. Las Vegas Blvd. in Las Vegas. For more information, including tour schedules and tickets, visit www.neonmuseum.org. Also follow @NeonMuseum on Facebook and Twitter and @theneonmuseumlasvegas on Instagram.
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.