Archived Arts & Entertainment

Fine Art Museum receives national honor

The WCU Fine Art Museum. The WCU Fine Art Museum.

The Western Carolina University Fine Art Museum at Bardo Arts Center in Cullowhee has achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. 

American Alliance of Museum Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public. 

Alliance Accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement. 

Developed and sustained by museum professionals for 50 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 profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public. 

WCU Chancellor, Dr. Kelli R. Brown is honored the university has received this accreditation. 

“The hallmark of any great university is great cultural programs. We celebrate the WCU Fine Art Museum’s accreditation as a testament to WCU’s commitment to excellence in the arts,” she said. 

Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, only just over 1,080 of those museums are currently accredited, and out of that, only 16 percent are university museums. In addition, the WCU Fine Art Museum is one of only 28 museums accredited in North Carolina, and one of three accredited museums in the UNC System. 

Accreditation is a very rigorous but highly rewarding 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 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 should receive accreditation. 

The museum will reopen to the public on Tuesday, Aug. 17. General hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and until 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Learn more about upcoming exhibitions and museum events at or by calling 828.227.ARTS. 

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