Mission, Vision & Values

PEM boldly honors creativity as a nourishing force in people’s lives.

We offer thought-provoking experiences of the arts, humanities, and sciences to activate understanding of our shared humanity and to empower imagination and learning through experimentation. We steward, build, and make our collections accessible to encourage appreciation of the interconnected histories and creativity of people in our complex, always changing world.


We will be a magnetic, human-centered gathering place—locally, globally, and virtually—where people are inspired to learn and connect as they experience wonder, joy, and comfort.

Being a human-centered museum means focusing on people as the source of creativity as well as encouraging people to embrace this powerful agent for change and connection. The local and global cross currents of creativity are central to PEM’s story. Our collection and exhibitions are a treasure trove of stories about the distinctiveness and universality of human achievements and struggles across time and place. We will lift up and share these stories through multiple entry points to engage broad audiences with each other and in the life of the museum. We will achieve this vision through expanded innovation and openness in our exhibitions, programming, collections, publishing, and relationships with communities and partners near and far.

PEM will continue to grow as a leader in our community and among museums.

Our Core Values

Creativity is a tie that binds and unifies us.

Whether creativity expresses itself as art, culture, or the sciences, it embodies our drive to find ways to navigate the world, past, present, or future. People develop culture together through their commonalities and differences. People are story builders and storytellers. Taking inspiration from this,

We value:

  • openness in recognizing the spectrum of human achievement that art, culture, and the sciences make possible,
  • collaboration as a means to build connection and empathy, and the unexpected in inquiry and experimentation.

We are committed to:

  • respect for humanity and the environment,
  • the wellbeing of our staff and communities,
  • inclusive, equitable engagement that builds bridges and fosters a sense of belonging and excellence in providing authentic, meaningful experiences and credible knowledge.

DEIA Commitment

PEM is committed to being an inclusive, equitable cultural organization.

As a museum that celebrates creativity to advance our shared humanity, we strive to motivate and connect people through inquiry, empathy, and dialogue. We believe that diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility are distinct, interlinked, and critical values that support this work as individuals and communities experience the arts, humanities, and sciences at PEM.

Ethics and Professional Standards

PEM seeks to achieve the highest professional standards in caring for its collections, sharing its scholarly and creative efforts, and managing its financial and human resources. In doing so, PEM embraces and adheres to the standards and practices established by the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), and the PEM Board of Trustees.