Ohio Museums Association Annual Awards Programs

Celebrating Excellence in Ohio’s Museum Community

The Ohio Museums Association Annual Awards Program proudly honors outstanding achievement and visual communication. The 2016 Ohio Museums Association Outstanding Achievement Award winners will be recognized at the 2017 Ohio Museums Association’s Annual Conference. Nominations and entries from the field are considered by a distinguished panel of judges, selected to represent the diversity of the museum community. Eligible institutions include:


Botanical Gardens

Historic Houses

Nature Centers


Ethnic Museums

Historic Parks


Anthropology Museums

General Museums

Historic Sites

Science/Technology Centers

Art Museums

Heritage Centers

Historical Societies

Children/Youth”s Museums

Art Centers and Galleries

History Museums

Natural History Museums


The OMA Awards Program is divided into two categories: the 
Visual Communication Awards and the Awards of Achievement.

OMA Awards Program

Visual Communication Awards

Visual Communication Awards Nomination
Visual Communication Awards Nomination
Nomination for the OMA Visual Communication Awards.

Visual Communication Awards

The Visual Communication Competition recognizes creative excellence in Ohio museums by its field professionals and organizations producing material for museums. Articles for submission can include, but are not limited to: Annual Reports, Audio-Visual/Electronic Media, Books, Brochures, Catalogs, Campaigns, Education Materials, Fundraising Materials, Institutional Identity, Invitations/Announcements, Newsletters/Magazines, Posters and Press Packs.

The 2016 entries must be published or distributed between January 1 and December 31, 2016.

Visual Communication Award winners will be recognized at the annual awards ceremony  held in conjunction to the Ohio Museums Association”s Annual Conference.

Deadline for submitting 2016 Visual Communication Award Entries: January 30, 2017 (all entries must be postmarked by this date).

The Visual Communication Competition is open to all organizations producing materials for Ohio museums. Entries will be judged on the overall design of the piece, the appropriateness of design to message, effectiveness of design to audience, and the function of the piece.

Entries in the 2016 Visual Communication Awards will be judged against all entries in their respective budget category. Gold and Silver awards will be made in each budget category where merited, with one entry receiving the overall, Best of Show Award.

Budget categories are based on each institution’s operating budget for the year, not on the budget used to create the individual pieces.

Budget Categories are as follows:

  • Level 1: budgets less than $50,000
  • Level 2: $50,000-$249,999
  • Level 3: $250,000-499,999
  • Level 4: $500,000-$999,999
  • Level 5: $1 million-$5 million
  • Level 6: budgets over $5 million

There is an entry fee of $25.00 per entry for members, $35.00 per entry for non-members. Fees can be paid by check, payable to The Ohio Museums Association, or by credit card by using the secure PayPal option. Please scroll down for complete PayPal information.

There is no maximum number of entries each institution can submit. Two copies of each entry must be received by the deadline. Materials become the property of OMA unless a stamped, self-addressed mailer is included with entry.

For information on how to become an OMA Member, click here .

For questions about the Awards, contact Johnna McEntee at the OMA office: 614.297.2375, [email protected].

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2015 Award Winners

The Ohio Museums Association would like to congratulate the 2015 winners of our Visual Communication and Award of Achievement program!

OMA Award Program winners were recognized at the annual awards ceremony  held in conjunction with the Ohio Museums Association’s Annual Conference, April 17, 2016 at the Ohio History Center. See below for a complete list of the 2015 honorees!

2015 Award Winners

2015 OMA Award of Achievement Recipients

  • Best Exhibition (Under $500,000) – Open This End: Contemporary Art from the Collection of Blake Byrne, The Arts Initiative, The Ohio State University
  • Best Exhibition (Over $500,000) Honorable Mention – Play Time, Toledo Museum of Art
  • Best Exhibition (Over $500,000) – Paul Simon: Words & Music, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
  • Best Community Partnership (Under $500,000) – British War Children 75th Anniversary Commemorative Series, Hoover Historical Center
  • Best Community Partnership (Over $500,000) – Reunification Program, Imagination Station
  • Best Education/Outreach (Over $500,000) Honorable Mention – STEMing Science into Conservation Action, Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm
  • Best Education/Outreach (Over $500,000) – The Artful Living Program,Massillon Museum
  • Emerging Professional of the Year Honorable Mention – Sarah Aisenbrey, Dayton Society of Natural History
  • Emerging Professional of the Year – Jacob Masters, Dennison Railroad Depot Museum
  • Betty Bryan Volunteer of the Year  Honorable Mention– Elaine Minch, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
  • Betty Bryan Volunteers of the Year – Donald and Lynne Newell, Athens County Historical Society and Museum
  • Professional of the Year – Carol Bintz, Toledo Museum of Art
  • Institution of the Year – Armstrong Air & Space Museum

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