The South Carolina Federation of Museum's mission is to serve, represent, advocate and promote the best interests of South Carolina museums thereby strengthening professional standards and procedures, facilitating communication, fostering inclusiveness and increasing professionalism and sustainability of institutional resources.
History of SCFM
Despite the fact that the oldest operating museum in the United States, The Charleston Museum, began in 1773, South Carolina's community of museums and museum professionals did not begin to seriously move toward the creation of a formal professional organization until the late 1960s. As South Carolina geared up for the celebration of its Tricentennial in 1970, museum professionals seized the opportunity to make a strong case for the advancement of the field within the state. After a series of initial exploratory meetings, the South Carolina Federation of Museums (SCFM) became a formal organization on December 18, 1970. The purpose of the new organization was to create an advocacy group that would represent museum issues and museum professionals before state officials and would promulgate the development of stronger professional standards among museums in South Carolina. Over its thirty-year history, SCFM has been heavily involved in the development of museums. During the early 1970s, SCFM members led the lobbying effort that resulted in the creation of the South Carolina State Museum. In the late 1970s, SCFM began a relationship with the State Museum's field services program to strengthen professional standards that continues today. SCFM members were at the forefront of the development and implementation of the 1987 South Carolina Abandoned Cultural Property Act. Today, SCFM remains active in observing issues that confront South Carolina's museums and helping them grow professionally.
SCFM provides a variety of services for South Carolina's museum community. The Federation's primary communication tool is its quarterly newsletter, Good Muse! The newsletter focuses on news and issues affecting the state's museums. SCFM also maintains an active array of professional training opportunities for its members. The SCFM Annual Conference welcomes nearly 100 museum professionals for seminars and forums on various professional topics. Throughout the year, SCFM partners with cultural organizations to produce daylong training workshops. In conjunction with the State Museum, SCFM supports the www.southcarolinamuseums.org web site. Through the web site, museum professionals and the general public can access a directory of all museums in South Carolina, an exhibit and event calendar for museums and news and information for museum professionals. And, finally, SCFM offers its members the opportunity to participate in the state's largest network of museum professionals.