OMA Award Spotlight -Taft Museum of Art

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 2021 OMA Award of Achievement winners throughout the month with our OMA Award Spotlight. We are featuring these Award Winner Spotlights 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 2021 award winners! 

Today, we'll be featuring our winner for the 2021 award for Best Education and Outreach over $500,000.


Taft Museum of Art - Artists Reaching Classrooms

Over its thirty plus years, more than 6,000 students, and dozens of teachers and local artists have benefitted from the Taft Museum of Art’s Artists Reaching Classrooms program - an outreach program that engages twelve Cincinnati area high schools, introducing students to the collection of the Taft Museum of Art and connecting the students with professional artists.

This no-cost arts experience draws connections between the Taft's collection and art being made today, supplements and expands teachers’ curriculum, and also provides paid opportunities for artists to share their work with new audiences and create meaningful connections with aspiring student artists.

At the end of the program, students create original works of art and artist statements which are professionally framed and hung in a culminating exhibit.

These students, who may not otherwise have been exposed to an art museum or local artists, can meet professionals doing anything from product design, painters, educators, magazine creators, book makers and more. The Artists Reaching Classrooms program encourages students to create, to build critical thinking and analysis skills, and then receive recognition and celebration for their talent.

As one participating artist wrote, “I feel strongly about making the art world accessible, and the ARC program is bringing students closer to joy, healing, and a deep appreciation of the world that art can provide. I look forward to working with participating students because kids are often discouraged from pursuing an art career, or even practicing art. I am eager to share the path I took to a creative career, and empower students to consider options that they might not have thought possible for themselves.”

Did your museum have an innovative and impactful education or outreach program during the 2022 season? Be sure to nominate it for the 2022 award for Best Education and Outreach! Learn more here.


See below for a video from the Taft Museum of Art about this award winning program. 

Taft Museum of Art - Artists Reaching Classrooms

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