American Alliance of Museums’ Emerging Museum Professionals initiative was launched in 2010 by AAM staffer Guzel duChateau. The initiative was initially created to service those in their museum career for less than 10 years. In 2014, the alliance determined it could no longer support this initiative. At this point, there were already 36 chapters established across the United States.
The National Emerging Museum Professionals Network (NEMPN) was founded in November 2015 as an independent offshoot from the American Alliance of Museums’ Emerging Museum Professionals initiative. NEMPN formed an Executive Committee for the purpose of governing the network, and later a Board of Directors was brought together for the purpose of becoming a 501(c)(3). After a successful GoFundMe campaign in 2017, NEMPN was able to file for 501(c)(3) status and became a tax-exempt non-profit organization.
Under the leadership of President Michelle Epps, NEMPN made great strides in advancing the cause of EMPs, including
- working with 43 museum associations to support the adoption of salary transparency policies on their job boards,
- starting a partnership with Rogers Publishing to create Theory & Practice, a journal dedicated exclusively to the writings of emerging museum professionals.
- compiling and vetting a detailed list of museum studies programs in the United States
- surveying the EMP community to discover details and insights into who EMPs are and what challenges we face in breaking into the field.
- working to create a space of learning and collaboration on our social media accounts by promoting real discussion about the challenges facing the museum field.
In 2020, President Michelle Epps and many of the senior Board members stepped down. The Sierras’ leadership team and a new Board emerges for the growing EMP community.