DANA Cultural Center has been selected to participate in the Museum Assessment Program (MAP).  Through guided self-study and on-site consultation with a museum professional, participation in MAP will empower DANA Cultural Center to better serve the citizens of Nipomo by facilitating its meeting and exceeding the highest professional standards of the museum field.

The program is funded by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and throughout its 30 years has been administered by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). As part of the IMLS National Leadership program, MAP advances best practices and fosters improvement in museums.  MAP is a self-motivated program; application to and participation in MAP are initiated by each local institution, and those accepted invest considerable human and institutional resources into the assessment.

DANA, a 501c(3) public benefit nonprofit organization established in 1999, endeavors to educate our community on stewardship, art, and culture through our public education programs. We strive to protect, restore, and share our local history and natural resources. Over the last several years, we have secured 130 acres of open public space around the historic Dana Adobe; a California Landmark built in 1839.  In this year and next, we are slated to build a 5,800 square foot educational facility, a Chumash Indian interpretive area, and over a mile of walking trails on the property.  Executive Director, Marina Washburn attests; “Our museum and immersive natural and cultural site will encourage the community to build connections between culture, nature, and each other.”

MAP is a confidential process of self-study, peer review and implementation. Museums use the assessment process to strengthen operations, build capacity, and enhance communication throughout the organization and in response to community needs. Participant museums choose one of three categories for its assessment: Collections Stewardship Organizational, Community Engagement. DANA Cultural Center will take part in the MAP assessment process.  Small and mid-sized museums of all types, including art, history, science and technology, children’s, natural history, historic houses, nature centers, botanical gardens, and zoos participate in the program.

“Choosing to be part of the MAP program is indicative of the commitment to civic involvement, public service and overall excellence on the part of DANA Cultural Center,” said Ford W. Bell, president of AAM. “Studies have shown America’s museums to be among the country’s most trusted and valued institutions. MAP is designed to make them even better.”

Since its creation in 1981, the MAP program has served over 4,300 museums. MAP is supported through a cooperative agreement with IMLS. For more information, including a complete list of museums participating in MAP, please visit www.aam-us.org/map, call 202/289-9118 or e-mail map@aam-us.org.

AAM is the only organization representing the nation’s entire museum community and has been dedicated to promoting excellence within the museum field for over 100 years. For more information about AAM, visit www.aam-us.org. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. To learn more about the Institute, please visit: http://www.imls.gov.

DANA began with the mission to restore and preserve the historic Dana Adobe and promote development of a 130-acre park.  Our purpose is to enhance understanding of California’s early history, to encourage an appreciation of the many cultures and families who contributed to the development of the present California, and to inspire stewardship of our natural resources. Our educational program for local elementary school children has enabled students to experience and understand their local community’s culture, history, and natural habitats.

DANA Cultural Center

671 S. Oakglen Avenue

Nipomo, CA 93444

Phone: (805) 929-5679


Hours: Saturday and Sunday 1-4 PM, or by appointment