About Museum Concepts

Cissy Foote Anklam / Photo by Melanie Thortis

After leadership roles at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History and the Newseum, the Freedom Forum’s interactive museum of news, Cissy Anklam founded Museum Concepts in 2002 to capitalize on her experience and insight gained throughout her career in innovative exhibit development, programming and leadership in public/private collaborations to broaden the museum audience. The mission of Museum Concepts is to collaboratively guide and direct clients in an integrated approach to all facets of museum planning, exhibit development, interpretive planning and operational planning. Working with other experts and leaders in the field, Museum Concepts assembles a team, big or small, to address one or all aspects of a project’s planning, development and realization. From vision to execution, Museum Concepts acts as advocate and advisor in developing an experience that is authentic, transformative and sustainable.

Prior to founding Museum Concepts, Anklam was chief curator and director of exhibits at the Newseum in Washington, DC. She also spent more than 12 years at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, where she directed the Smithsonian’s initial efforts to develop electronic and digital outreach programs and served as the Institution’s Coordinator for Special Exhibits.

Some of Our Clients

  • Museum of the Mississippi Delta, Greenwood, MS
  • American Indian Museum of Mississippi, Kosciusko, MS
  • Natchez Trace Visitor Center, Kosciusko, MS
  • Earl Scruggs Center for Music & Stories of the American South, Shelby, NC
  • Catfish Row Museum, Vicksburg, MS
  • Mississippi Children’s Museum, Jackson, MS
  • Brunswick County, VA
  • Margaret Walker Center, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
  • Friends of the Museum – University Museum, Oxford, MS
  • Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson, MS
  • B.B. King Museum, Indianola, MS
  • National Geographic Society, Washington, DC
  • Southern Governors Association, Washington, DC
  • First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach, VA
  • National Building Museum, Washington, DC
  • Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
  • Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, Jackson, MS
  • JBG Companies, Chevy Chase, MD
  • Ohio Supreme Court Education Center, Columbus, OH

Master Planning

Our Master Planning process is the first step in developing a vision and strategic plan to ensure a solid path towards execution and one that fosters engaging experiences and encourages sustainability. Museum Concepts will guide and direct your organization through the entire process. Working with owners, stakeholders, subject area experts and the community as a whole, our team studies all aspects of your venture: the vision, mission, audience, design concepts, space assessment, exhibits, collections, programs, space needs, collections and operations.

Interpretive planning

A successful interpretive plan enables your organization to align its mission with the needs and interests of your audience and community. Interpretive planning is a decision-making process that blends management needs and resource considerations with visitor needs and desires to determine the most effective way to communicate a message to the targeted audience. Museum Concepts will work with your team to determine what the messages are and the stories that will best communicate them to your audience.

Creative & Strategic Meetings Facilitation

Museum Concepts has vast experience in working with foundations, boards, private organizations, governmental agencies and universities to develop museum, cultural heritage sites and cultural tourism experiences. Cissy Anklam is particularly skilled in corralling diverse interests and generating stakeholder buy-in that can bring real engagement and value to the client’s need.


Cultural and heritage venues that present a powerful narrative connect to their audience and become transformative institutions that play a vital role in building healthy and economically viable communities.