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Access & Identity
Awards of merit

Annual Conference 

Cooperstown, April 7-9, 2019 

Award of Merit Winners will be announced in early January!

MANY’s Awards of Merit recognize outstanding and innovative programs, staff, and volunteers who have enriched New York State museums with new and remarkable projects. Any organization or individual can nominate an organization, person(s), or project completed in 2018 at a museum, heritage, or cultural organization in the state of New York. Nomination of oneself or one’s organization is permissible and encouraged.

Congratulations to our
2018 Award of Merit Winners!

The Award of Merit winner receives discounted registration to the annual conference to help them accept the award in person.

Award of Merit Nomination Categories: 

Anne Ackerson Innovation in Leadership Award
This award recognizes a board member or staff leader that saw their organization through a critical challenge or significant opportunity in a creative, effective manner.

The Rising Star Award
This award recognizes a museum professional who is under the age of 35 and currently employed at a cultural institution. The Rising Star displays creative thinking and inspires institutional change.

Individual Achievement
This award recognizes devoted staff and volunteers who are instrumental in moving their organizations forward over a sustained period. Nominations are accepted for individuals or a team of staff and/or volunteers.

Persistence Award
This award rewards those who take risks and rise to the challenge of turning an unexpected challenge into an asset. Nominations should indicate the initial goal, what changed, and the resulting organization benefit.
Excellence in Design Award Sponsored by NAME
This award recognizes an exhibition (physical and/or digital) produced by a cultural institution that articulates content through engaging design and creates a satisfying visitor experience. Supporting materials must include installation documentation and audience feedback.

Innovation in Collections Access Award
This award recognizes exemplary projects (physical and/or digital) that broaden access, preserve, and catalog museum and heritage organization collections.

Engaging Communities Award
This award recognizes an organization’s that uses creative methods to engage its community and build new audiences. Projects can include collections interpretation, exhibitions, lecture series, educational or public programs, focus groups, strategic planning, or other community engagement effort.

For the Innovation in Collections Access Awards and Engaging Communities Award judges will consider making awards in the following four budget categories: Volunteer - $100,000, $100,000 - $500,000, $500,000 - $1,000,000, and over $1,000,000


The Museum Association of New York strengthens the capacity of New York State’s cultural community by supporting professional standards and organizational development. We provide advocacy, training, and networking opportunities so that museums and museum professionals may better serve their missions and communities.

Museum Association of New York is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. 

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