Arts Education

WCU Fine Art Museum Earns National Recognition

Flood. Beth Lo, artist

The Western Carolina University (WCU) Fine Art Museum at Bardo Arts Center has achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). The AAM is an organization representing more than 30,000 museum professionals and volunteers, institutions and corporate partners, and their accreditation program is one of the the highest national recognitions afforded to a museum in the US. Less than 16 percent of accredited museums are university museums like the WCU Fine Art Museum. Denise Drury Homewood, executive director of the museum, led the 10-year effort for accreditation. “The most difficult part of this process was sustaining our momentum over the years,” says Homewood. “However, we were fortunate to have dozens of faculty, staff, students and community partners who rallied around us to reach this milestone. The process of preparing for accreditation has certainly strengthened our operations and focused our vision for the future.”

Accreditation photo with Bardo Arts Center staff

The WCU Fine Art Museum, one of only 28 museums accredited in North Carolina, was awarded a 10-year accreditation, which is the highest level available, boasted by institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “The national recognition that this accreditation brings will open many doors for the museum, including increased access to funding and opportunities to collaborate with other accredited museums,” says Homewood. “It also distinguishes WCU as a university committed to excellence in the arts. I hope visitors can join us in celebrating this achievement at the museum this fall.”

General hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday until 7 p.m. Learn more about upcoming exhibitions and museum events at or by calling 828.227.ARTS.

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