Congratulations Western Heritage Center!

“The American Alliance of Museums has awarded the highest level of accreditation to the Western Heritage Center, after an intensive assessment process in 2022.  The WHC was initially accredited in 1990, and has maintained its status for over thirty years. Of the estimated 33,000 museums in the United States, only 1,080 are currently accredited by the AAM, which is considered the preeminent museum association in the nation,” according to the American Alliance of Museums.

The Western Heritage Center is one of only six museums accredited in Montana.

“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.” 

This honor recognizes the WHC’s commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continues to be the primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation, and public accountability.

The western Heritage Center is located at 2822 Montana Avenue in Billings, Montana ( Photo courtesy: Western Heritage Center).

“In the course of accreditation, the AAM reviewers, museum staff, board, and volunteers, and community members, examine all aspects of the museum’s operations, including education and outreach programming, the institution’s financial stability, community engagement, and the management and care of the museum’s collections,” commented Kevin Kooistra, Western Heritage Center Executive Director. 
He added, “The process is very rigorous, but it helps us continue to expand and enhance our services to the community.  We are incredibly proud of the hard work done by volunteers, our board, community partners, and staff to achieve this.” 

The WHC will be open to the public on March 10, with free admission on Friday and Saturday.