About MNA

The Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) is a private, non-profit, member-based institution located in Flagstaff, Arizona at the base of the beautiful San Francisco Peaks. The Museum was founded in 1928 by Harold S. Colton and Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton and was originally established to protect and preserve the natural and cultural heritage of northern Arizona through research, collections, conservation and education. MNA's mission to inspire a sense of love and responsibility for the beauty and diversity of the Colorado Plateau through collecting, studying, interpreting, and preserving the region’s natural and cultural heritage.

The Museum has evolved into a regional center of learning with collections, exhibits, educational programs, publications, and research projects that serve thousands of people each year. As the only accredited museum within 150 miles of Flagstaff, the Museum of Northern Arizona plays a vital role as interpreter of the Colorado Plateau.

Mission, Vision and Values

Mission

The mission of the Museum of Northern Arizona is to inspire a sense of love and responsibility for the beauty and diversity of the Colorado Plateau through collecting, studying, interpreting, and preserving the region’s natural and cultural heritage.

The Museum reaffirms the core tenets of the mission established by the founders in 1928:

  • Research – “to increase knowledge of science and art”
  • Collections – “to collect and preserve objects of art and scientific interest”
  • Education – “to diffuse knowledge and appreciation of science and art”
  • Conservation – “to preserve and protect the region’s historic and prehistoric sites, works of art, scenic places, [plants], and wildlife from needless destruction”
  • Place – “to maintain a museum in the city of Flagstaff that provides facilities for research and aesthetic enjoyment”

Vision

The Museum of Northern Arizona is a warm and vibrant place of ideas, with a strong local identity, a regional focus, and an international perspective. Our vision for the Museum is that:

  • It is a welcoming place where people are drawn together to share their knowledge, love of learning, and sense of innovation
  • It is a place that supports and gives voice to the region’s diverse cultural perspectives
  • It has sustainable, state-of-the-art facilities while retaining its traditional character
  • Its educational programs and exhibits are beautifully presented, inspiring and intellectually challenging
  • Its collections are conserved with great care and respect, and will provide a continuing source of inspiration and learning
  • It sets the standard for on-going regional research that is solid and significant
  • Its staff and volunteers are creative, enthusiastic, and supportive of each other, the Museum’s mission, and the wider museum community

Values

The Museum of Northern Arizona is committed to:

  • Openness – of purpose, governance, and communication
  • Integrity – in fair and ethical practices, and the respectful treatment of all
  • Excellence – in leadership, cooperation, and in use of highest museum standards
  • Relevance – in identifying and responding to new challenges
  • Stability – of its mission, vision, and resources, particularly its collections
  • Respect – for different viewpoints, diverse cultural values, and the traditions of the Museum

Adopted by the MNA Board of Trustees, June 26, 2004.