With over 1000 members, the Virginia Association of Museums brings together individuals and institutions of our Virginia and D.C. museum community to further education and training, foster development, and provide support for museums and museum staff.

Established in 1968, VAM gives cultural and historical sites in Virginia and the District of Columbia a forum to voice common concerns, share ideas, learn from each other, and grow stronger in the process.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Virginia Association of Museums is to serve as the resource network of the Virginia and District of Columbia museum community through education, technical assistance, and advocacy.


Since the late 1950s Virginia’s museum professionals have been getting together to share expertise, exchange exhibits, and collaborate on programs. As the group grew, it expanded its activities to include an annual conference, a collaborative Civil War Centennial Celebration, a magazine and additional meetings during the year for training and networking. The organization was incorporated in 1968 as The Virginia History Federation to promote and support Virginia’s historical museums and sites; one year later it was granted 501c(3) status by the IRS. In 1978, the organization became the Virginia History and Museums Federation to reflect a broader mission including all museum disciplines. In 1980 the organization was renamed the Virginia Association of Museums (VAM) to further establish its purpose – the education and support of all museums, related cultural institutions, and those staff and volunteers dedicated to Virginia’s museums.

The Virginia Association of Museums is governed by a twenty-member Council. On this Council are Directors representing the six geographic regions of VAM membership (Northern Virginia, Central Virginia, Tidewater & Eastern Shore, Southwest & Blueridge, Mountain & Valley, and District of Columbia). Five Directors represent the various disciplines of museums (Art, History, Historic Houses, Science & Nature, and Specialized Audience). Executive oversight is provided by five officers - President, Vice President for Programs, Vice President for Planning and Resources, Secretary and Treasurer. There are also three Directors-at-Large, and the Past President.