Press Release

History Colorado Receives Highest National Recognition Available to Museums

DENVER — April 9, 2024 — Accreditation signifies the highest level of excellence that a museum can achieve. Nationally, approximately only 3% of museums are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). History Colorado has once again been accredited by AAM, a recognition that we welcome as an affirmation of our community-centered work, our award-winning exhibitions and diverse educational programming. History Colorado has been an accredited institution since 1972. All museums accredited by AAM must undergo a reaccreditation review at least every 10 years to maintain the elite status. 

Jeannie McFarland Johnson, Director of Marketing & Communications
720.840.1914 | 

This accreditation brings national recognition to History Colorado for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement. 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. 

“It is incredibly meaningful to have our History Colorado team and our community-centered museum work celebrated and recognized for professional excellence,” said Dawn DiPrince, President/CEO of History Colorado and State Historic Preservation Officer.  “We are honored every day to do this work on behalf of the people of Colorado and our collective history.”

The museums in History Colorado’s network that received recognition were:

  • History Colorado Center | Denver, CO
  • Center for Colorado Women’s History | Denver, CO
  • El Pueblo History Museum | Pueblo, CO
  • Fort Garland Museum & Cultural Center | Fort Garland, CO
  • Healy House Museum & Dexter Cabin | Leadville, CO
  • Ute Indian Museum | Montrose, CO

Of the nation’s estimated 35,000 museums, just over 1,100 are currently accredited. 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. AAM’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. 

“Accreditation is the gold standard for museums—a significant achievement of which the institutions and their communities should be extremely proud,” said Brooke Leonard, AAM Interim CEO and Chief of Staff. “By undergoing re-accreditation, these museums have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to maintaining this distinction and have demonstrated their ongoing commitment to excellence.” 

About History Colorado
History Colorado is a division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education and a 501(c)3 non-profit that has served more than 75,000 students and 500,000 people in Colorado each year. It is a 144-year-old institution that operates eleven museums and historic sites, a free public research center, the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation which provides technical assistance, educational opportunities, and other access to archaeology and historic preservation, and the History Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF), which is one of the nation’s largest state funded preservation programs of its kind. More than 70% of SHF grants are allocated in rural areas of the state. Additionally, the offices of the State Archaeologist and the State Historic Preservation Officer are part of History Colorado. 

History Colorado’s mission is to create a better future for Colorado by inspiring wonder in our past. We serve as the state’s memory, preserving and sharing the places, stories, and material culture of Colorado through educational programs, historic preservation grants, collecting, outreach to Colorado communities, the History Colorado Center and Stephen H. Hart Research Center in Denver, and 10 other museums and historic attractions statewide. History Colorado is one of only six Smithsonian Affiliates in Colorado. Visit, or call 303-HISTORY, for more information. #HistoryColorado

About the American Alliance of Museums
The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. For more information, visit