OMA Award Spotlight – Bedford Historical Society

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, the Ohio Museums Association is highlighting our 2016 OMA Award of Achievement winners throughout the month with our OMA Award Spotlight. 

Click here to see our previous award spotlight articles.

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 award winners! 

Today we'll be featuring our winner for the 2016 award for Best Community Partnership under $500,000.


Bedford Historical Society – Northeast Ohio Local History Fair

In 2016, the Bedford Historical Society’s Northeast Ohio Local History Fair brought together twenty-seven history organizations and over 300 members of the public for a one-day event to promote and celebrate the history of their local community.

After noticing a decline in participation by the school district, families and the general public, the Bedford Historical Society wanted to create a new kind of activity to re-engage community members who had fallen by the wayside, or simply didn’t know the museum was there.

In an area as rich in cultural institutions as Northeast Ohio, larger organizations can cast a far-reaching net for visitors and resources, based on their size alone. The Northeast Ohio Local History Fair worked to level the playing field by collaborating towards a common goal of greater service for their community.

By assembling these vast and varied history organizations in a unified effort to engage their local neighborhoods, the Fair provided an opportunity for a wide range of smaller institutions to have visibility, to cross-promote one another’s efforts, to network, and to share their resources with the general public. 

The Local History Fair combined a modern, trade-show-style presentation with traditional interpretation techniques like costumed interpreters to create a meaningful experience for visitors, and left them wanting more. The second “annual” History Fair is scheduled for April 29, 2017.


Did your museum have an impactful partnership during the 2017 season? Be sure to nominate it for the 2017 award for Best Community Partnership! Learn more here.

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