Going with our specialization theme, here’s one for the aspiring exhibit designers out there: the National Association for Museum Exhibition.

NAME is actually sort of part of AAM; it describes itself as “one of the Standing Professional Committees of the American Association of Museums.”

For more from them:

Our mission

NAME seeks to enhance the cultural landscape by advancing the value and relevance of exhibitions through dialogue among individuals, museum leaders and the public. We promote excellence and best practices, identify trends and recent innovations, provide access to resources, promote professional development and cultivate leadership.

What we offer

NAME offers professional development opportunities through conference sessions and workshops at national and regional levels. We offer dialogue with exhibits colleagues through our professional journal Exhibitionist, other publications and this website. We offer networking through our Members Directory and social events. We are also the nationwide voice of the exhibits profession.

Who we represent

NAME represents over 800 museum staff and independent professionals. The membership includes designers, content developers, fabricators, evaluators, and others engaged in public programming and museums.

Because it’s part of AAM, if you’re already an AAM member, you can be a member of NAME. It’s that simple. There are some additional dues, which cover publications and a few other opportunities, but it’s only $25 for individuals and $15 for students.

NAME has one of the coolest professional journal names out there: The Exhibitionist. In keeping with that title, this is a great publication. Each issue is themed (last spring’s was about “Exhibition Frictions”) and then explores exhibitions or techniques that address that theme. Every article I’ve read – and you can read a lot of them, because many back issues are online – has been creative, thoughtful, and even if not directly useful or applicable to me at that moment, has given me something to think about. I would strongly urge spending some time reading through these articles.

They have a great collection of links to further resources, and a great lineup of awards and fellowships.

NAME makes a great case, in their comprehensive and creative thinking, for why everyone who works in museums should know about planning and producing an exhibition. So go check them out!