Elsewhere online
June 27, 2016

Small Arab-American Museum Attracts Diverse Visitors

A small Detroit-area museum that features exhibits on Arab history and contributions to culture and science has has surprising success in gaining national recognition and attracting non-Arab visitors, writes The Detroit News.

Opened in 2005, the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Mich., has built itself into a key player among regional cultural institutions. With a budget of $1.9 million, it drew more than 52,100 visitors last year, half of them from non-Arab backgrounds.

The museum has garnered unusual national attention for a facility of its size winning accrediation from the American Alliance of Museums in record time and being picked as one of 210 Smithsonian Institution affiliate museums, meaning the two organizations share artifacts, exhibits, and educational programming. Museum officials credit its success to building exhibits and programming that have wide appeal and bridge communities, such as Global Fridays, a monthly event featuring multiethnic musical performances.