NEWPORT - The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum has become the first sports hall of fame to achieve accreditation status by the American Alliance of Museums.
Accreditation status is reportedly considered the highest professional achievement in the museum industry and demonstrates a museum has “a commitment to excellence in all that it does,” including: governance, collections stewardship, public programs, financial stability and institutional improvements.
Of the roughly 17,500 museums in the United States, just more than 1,000 are accredited by the American Alliance of Museum.
According to a release, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is the first hall of fame and second sports museum – after the American Museum of Fly Fishing – to receive the honor.
To celebrate its achievement, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is hosting an Open House Day on Saturday, May 25, for all Rhode Island residents. The event offers free admissions so that the local community can “explore this unique cultural attraction in their own back yards.” Proof of residency is required for the free admission.
“Accreditation is a significant achievement,” Ford W. Bell, president of the American Alliance of Museums, said in prepared remarks. “The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and the communities it serves, that being the local community and the worldwide tennis industry, should be extremely proud.”
To earn accreditation, a museum must conduct a year of self-study, then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an “independent and autonomous” group of museum professionals, review and evaluate the self-study and visiting committee report to determine if a museum should receive accreditation.
“The museum is the heart and soul of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. It is the one and only tennis hall of fame in the world, and in the museum we work diligently to preserve the history of the sport and inspire its future,” International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum Chairman Christopher E. Clouser said in a statement, adding that he and his staff were “grateful and humbled” by the distinction.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum was founded in 1954 with a focus on American tennis history and players. It expanded to have an international focus in 1975