Home Arts Museums in four states win top US prize

Museums in four states win top US prize

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THE Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) today (23 May) awarded its main annual award, the National Museum and Library Service Medal, to eight institutions, including four libraries and four museums. Museums honored by the federally funded agency include arts, science and historical institutions located in four states, from Florida’s Atlantic Coast to Southern California: the Center for Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio; the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum in Buffalo, Wyoming; the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and the Riverside Art Museum in the Los Angeles suburb of Riverside.

“The staff of these inspiring institutions are dedicated every day to supporting the health and growth of their communities, serving in their unique ways as centers of excellence and passion,” said Crosby Kemper, Director of IMLS, in a press release. statement. Representatives of this year’s winners, which also include libraries in Arkansas, California, New Jersey and Ohio, will receive their medals this summer at a ceremony in Washington, DC, where IMLS is based. .

“This award is a testament to the inspiring transformation that can occur when a group of people come together to elevate and celebrate the human experience through art,” Drew Oberjuerge, director of the Riverside Art Museum, who also manages the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art and Cultureactor’s home Cheech MarinChicano’s Chicano Art Collection, said in a statement.

The award, given annually since 1994, recognizes institutions that excel in serving their local communities. This year’s eight recipients, who were chosen from 30 finalistsrepresent a significant increase over last year six winners (three libraries and three museums).

IMLS, along with the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, is one of the principal federally funded agencies supporting art, culture, scholarship, and other areas of the humanities in the United States. In fiscal year 2022, IMLS awarded grants totaling $244.9 million. Like the NEA and the NEH, it has regularly been target for budget cuts or outright defunding by Republican legislators and presidents.

“Museums are needed more than ever as institutions of learning,” Joseph P. Cox, president and CEO of the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science, said in a statement. “Together, we foster understanding and change that lead to a fairer and healthier future.”

Last summer, US President Joseph Biden appointed 11 new members on the IMLS Board of Trustees—which, among other things, helps choose national medal winners—including the leaders of the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Parrish Art Museum, and the Cincinnati Art Museum.

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