An often-repeated phrase in museums, as with so many organizations, is, “We couldn’t manage without our volunteers.” At the AMA’s National Model Aviation Museum this certainly is the case.
For us, it begins at the top with the AMA Executive Council—all volunteers who oversee the museum. It is through the council members’ direction that the museum became a reality in the AMA’s old headquarters in Reston, Virginia. They then decided to relocate to the current building in Muncie, Indiana.
Today, direct input about the strategic direction for the museum is provided to the council by the museum’s Steering Committee. Again, composed of volunteers, this committee helps to plan the future of the museum.
A third volunteer committee, the museum’s Acquisition Committee, reviews artifacts offered as donations to the museum. These volunteers have the difficult task of reviewing great models and determining if they should be included in the museum’s collection.
Many tremendously talented individuals have also supported the museum throughout the years—helping in a myriad of other functions. These tasks have included providing tours and helping staff the museum, providing flight demonstrations during AMA/museum events, building and designing exhibits, moving aircraft, restoring aircraft, drawing plans for and building reproductions of historic aircraft, helping inventory the museum’s collection, and assisting in collection/library research.
—by Michael Smith, National Model Aviation Museum director