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Mission Matters


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Mission Matters

Chapter 2: Relevance in the 21st Century Museum

Introduction by Gail Anderson
Missions and the 21st Century Museum -- A Perspective by David Fleming, Ph.D.
Mission Relevance and Cultural Competency: Inescapable Partners for the Future by Charmaine Jefferson

Chapter 3: Qualities of a Mission Statement
Chapter 4: Mission Alignment Framework
Chapter 5: Twenty Perspectives from Museum Leaders

Introduction by Gail Anderson
Abbe Museum by Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko
Anchorage Museum by Julie Decker
Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture by Julie Stein, Ph.D.
The Contemporary Jewish Museum by Lori Starr
The Arquives by Raegan Swanson
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site by Sean Kelley
Ka’ala Farm by Kay Fukuda with Eric Enos
Minneapolis Institute of Art by Kaywin Feldman with Karleen Gardner
National Civil Rights Museum by Terri Lee Freeman
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center by Jamie Glavic with Dion Brown
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences by Emlyn Koster, Ph.D.
Nevada Art Museum by David B. Walker
Oakland Museum of California by Lori Fogarty
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens by Richard V. Piacentini
President Lincoln’s Cottage by Erin Carlon Mast
San Diego Museum of Man by Micah Parzen, Ph.D., J.D.
Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History by Nina Simon
Tamástslikt Cultural Institute by Roberta Conner
The Wild Center by Stephanie Ratcliffe

Chapter 6: US and International Mission Statements

Introduction by Gail Anderson
U.S. Mission Statements
International Mission Statements

Chapter 7: Development of a Mission Statement
Chapter 8: Mission Matters Toolkit

Introduction by Gail Anderson
Mission Matrices
Institutional Frameworks
Theories of Transformational Change

Chapter 9: Final Thoughts

About the Author

Gail Anderson has dedicated much of her time over her 40+ year career researching, amassing and sharing resources and new ideas to advance the museum field. With all the pressures that museum leaders face on a daily basis, her goal has been to make resources easily available with practical and accessible approaches ad tools. Anderson, president of Gail Anderson & Associates (GA&A) works with museum leaders facilitating institutional transformation, building institutional and leadership capacity, and expanding community and global relevance. GA&A works with museums on strategic planning, organizational restructuring, institutional assessment and development, board development, as well as individual coaching. She has worked with more than 65+ clients and completed over 105+ projects, the majority of which are repeat clientele speaking to long-term relationships.


This book is right on the money. The world is making ever-increasing demands of museums leading to all sorts of tensions and controversies. Strong missions are increasingly important in order to help museums cope with these pressures. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to all who are involved in museum management. Gail Anderson is an expert in this field, and we are fortunate that she has produced a contemporary view of such importance.
*David Fleming, Ph.D., Professor of Public History at Hope University in Liverpool, England, and former Director of the National Museums Liverpool*

Anderson offers a surprisingly engaging how-to and why-to book that demonstrates the power of the process of developing a museum mission statement. The generous real world examples reflect the breadth and diversity of museums and communities in the 21st century, and Anderson’s deft analyses point to new perspectives for what defines local success as well as a collective commitment.
*Sonnet Takahisa, Director, Strategic Education Initiatives, Newark Museum*

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