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 2021 Ohio Museums Association Outstanding Achievement Award winners will be recognized at the 2022 Ohio Museums Association’s Annual Conference, April 2-4, 2022 in Cincinnati. 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

Nomination for the OMA Visual Communication Awards.

Visual Communication Awards

Click here to download a Visual Communication Awards Entry Form.

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 2021 entries must be published or distributed between January 1 and December 31, 2021.

Visual Communication Award winners will be recognized at the annual awards ceremony held in conjunction with the Ohio Museums Association's 2022 Annual Conference, April 2-4, 2022 in Cincinnati.

Deadline for submitting 2021 Visual Communication Award Entries: January 24, 2022 (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 2020 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 with credit card using the options above.

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

Digital nominations can also be accepted. If you are submitting your nomination digitally, please email submission along with nomination form to [email protected].

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].

No content found

2020 Award Winners

The Ohio Museums Association would like to congratulate the 2020 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 Virtual Annual Conference, April 11, 2021. See below for a complete list of the 2020 honorees. Click here for our full 2020 OMA Award Winner announcement.

2020 Award Winners

2020 OMA Award of Achievement Recipients

Best Exhibition (Under $500,000)

Bradford Ohio Railroad Museum—“BF Interlocking Tower Exhibit”

Best Exhibition (Over $500,000)

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame“It’s Been Said All Along: Voices of Rage, Hope & Empowerment”

Best Exhibition Catalog (Over $500,000)

Columbus Museum of Art— “Raggin’ On: The Art of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson’s House and Journals”

Best Community Partnership (Over $500,000)

COSI – Center of Science and Industry“COSI 2020 Learning Lunchbox Distance Learning Initiative”

Best Education and Outreach (Under $500,000)

Trumbull County Historical Society—“Voices Oral History Project”

Emerging Professional of the Year

Hadley DrodgeNational Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center

Betty Bryan Volunteer of the Year

Jeanne Griffin—Cleo Redd Fisher Museum/Mohican Historical Society

Museum Advocate

Stephen White—COSI

Professional of the Year

Michael D. Aaron—Rickenbacker Woods Foundation – National Landmark & Learning Center

No content found

Support OMA with your
tax-deductible donation!

A contribution to the Ohio Museums Association will help us continue to provide important programs and services to Ohio’s Museums.