The Columbus Museum of Art has won the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, making Columbus the 16th city to receive the honor twice. Considered the highest honor for U.S. museums and libraries, the annual award was presented in 2011 to the Columbus Metropolitan Library.
The Columbus Museum of Art has won the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, making Columbus the 16th city to receive the honor twice.
Considered the highest honor for U.S. museums and libraries, the annual award was presented in 2011 to the Columbus Metropolitan Library.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services yesterday announced the selection of five museums and five libraries that have had a noteworthy effect on their communities.Based in Washington, the institute is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.
The latest winners range in size from the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Miss. (population: 18,000), to the Boston Children’s Museum.In Ohio, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County was also honored.
The Columbus museum, institute director Susan Hildreth said, stood out among the 89 applicants this year for interactive components such as the Center for Creativity, where visitors participate in hands-on activities.
“As opposed to the traditional view of an art museum where people walk around and gaze,” she said, “they’re really trying to make sure that folks are engaged with the art and determining what it means for them.”
In its first application for the award, the museum described community programs such as Art of Analysis, which encourages empathy and collaboration among Ohio State University medical students; and Sparking Imaginations, which facilitates art-based discussion among people with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
“People expect us to collaborate with arts and cultural organizations. They don’t expect you to collaborate with the university medical center, the Alzheimer’s Association,” Executive Director Nannette V. Maciejunes said yesterday.
“We’ve always felt strongly about the community, but this is an even deeper relationship.”
The designation, Hildreth said, has helped museums and libraries raise their visibility and find potential donors and partners.
The museum will receive $5,000 and a medal during a May 8 ceremony at the White House.