OMA Award Spotlight - Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens and The University of Akron

Recognizing excellence in Ohio museums during Arts and Humanities Month

To help celebrate October as Arts and Humanities Month, and to kick-off the call for nominations for this year's OMA awards, we'll be highlighting our 2018 OMA Award of Achievement winners throughout the month with our OMA Award Spotlight. Originally published in May, we are featuring these Award Winner Spotlights again during Arts and Humanities Month to help champion the amazing projects, programs and professionals that make Ohio's museum community strong.

The Awards of Achievement are presented to reflect the outstanding quality and caliber of work by Ohio museums and their professionals in two categories: Institutional Achievement Awards and Individual Achievement Awards.

Nominations for these awards are incredibly detailed. This in-depth process helps to illustrate how these institutions and individuals have gone “above and beyond” the normal call of duty to support their institution, serve their public and advance the cause of the museum community.

Each year, the review panel is overwhelmed by the outstanding projects, innovative programming and dedication to our field as exhibited in each of the institutional and individual nominations. Congratulations again to each of our 2018 award winners! 

Today, we'll be featuring our winner for the 2018 award for Best Community Partnership over $500,000.

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens and The University of Akron - Lost Voices of the Great War: Summit County in the First World War

The documentary “Lost Voices of the Great War: Summit County in the First World War,” recounts the story of Summit County residents’ experiences at home and overseas during World War I.

By working with partners like the University of Akron, the Archival Services of University Libraries, the Akron-Summit County Public Library, the Summit County Historical Society and MAPS Air Museum, the documentary brought to life local “hidden collections” of 100-year-old letters, film, photographs, images and documents to enrich the film’s content to tell a broader and more inclusive story.

The partnerships encouraged new scholarship, and pooled limited resources and talent to provide greater opportunities for collaboration and collections-sharing, and combined efforts to promote local cultural organizations and their collections.

By releasing the film in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the First World War, the project connected the history of the region to our current moment by focusing on oral history and collections, rather than nostalgia. As one reviewer noted, “this was a wonderful, touching project. I found myself emotionally affected by the content.”

Since its screening and subsequent broadcast, the film has continued to resonate within the community that helped create it. Several individuals have discovered they have a connection to one or more of the personalities featured in the film and have reached out to the affiliated institution to donate items to better enhance the collections.

Did your museum have an innovative and impactful collaboration during the 2019 season? Be sure to nominate it for the 2019 award for Best Community Partnership! Learn more here.

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