TAM Secures Significant Funding from the Houston Endowment for FAF Phase 2

Posted By: Emmy Laursen TAM Blog,


Texas Association of Museums (TAM) will begin work in Fall 2020 on an expanded continuation of the successful initiative Finding Alternative Futures: Sustainability through Coaching. Exploring ways to help museums build capacity by leveraging technology, this two-year project is made possible by a grant from the Houston Endowment in the amount of $400,000.

Finding Alternative Futures, Phase 2 (FAF2) will retain the goals of assisting participating museums in understanding their options for sustainability, elevating proficiency, and preparing for pivotal change. In addition, FAF2 will address digital readiness and technologies that can help move the museum community forward in the current environment.

The first stage of the project begins in Fall 2020; it will generate a collection of five online short courses that will serve as the core of the FAF2 2021-2022 programming. The self-paced modules address pressing needs in museum operations, as identified by leaders in the field and the findings of a regional needs assessment. The second stage of FAF2 begins in January 2021; it will guide 10 museums from the greater Houston area through the course under the leadership of expert coaches. The intensive year-long coaching program will be interspersed with peer convenings open to all museum professionals.

Alex Freeman, Executive Director of TAM, commented: “As the cornerstone of the Texas museum community, TAM has long been committed to providing our members with educational tools for best practices. Finding Alternative Futures, Phase 2 extends our work in an important way, combining online learning with traditional one-to-one coaching. We are grateful to the Houston Endowment for their continuing support and for recognizing the merit of this project.”

FAF2 will focus on technology-related challenges common in the museum community, such as assessing a museum’s digital strategy, developing proposals for financial support, informing organizational decision-making, managing vendor relationships, and using social media for community engagement. TAM will post an RFP for the content modules later in the fall. Registration for FAF2 will take place by invitation early in 2021.

Ruth Ann Rugg, Director of Special Projects, TAM, will serve as project director. Brian Crockett, Principal, Two-Headed Goat Consulting, Albuquerque, will serve as head coach. Kate Livingston, Principal, Kate Livingston Coaching, Denver, will serve as evaluator. Other team members will be announced after the initial planning period.

For specific project information, please contact the Project Director ruthann@texasmuseums.org and to keep updated on this project as it progresses, please join our technology mailing list at texasmuseusms.org.

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Thank you to our Finding Alternative Futures Phase 2 Advisory Board Members

Dreanna Belden
Kippen de Alba Chu
Nik Honeysett
Hope Kandel
Dr. Kim McCray
Koven Smith
Dr. Holly Witchey
Eric Lupfer
Kathryn Mitchell