Providence Children’s Museum Wins Innovation Award
Providence Children’s Museum was awarded the New England Museum Association's (NEMA) inaugural Leaders in Innovation Award at the organization’s annual conference in Nashua, NH on Friday, November 13.
The NEMA Leaders in Innovation Award recognizes New England museum programs and initiatives that advance the museum field in new and creative ways, in the form of exhibits, audience engagement, community outreach and more.
Providence Children’s Museum’s application for the award – “The Power of Play: Innovations in Messaging the Mission” – described its mission-driven advocacy about the critical importance of children’s unstructured, self-directed play. It highlighted initiatives to make the Museum’s message about the need for play more visible and explicit, including Play Power, a major new exhibit that opened last fall; an array of play-focused public programs; Museum-organized film screenings and community conversations; its PLAYWATCH discussion listserv (www.playwatch.org), launched in July; and a behind-the-scenes blog and other innovative social media efforts.
The judges found that: “The Power of Play has an integral connection with the Museum's mission and represents a long-term commitment to a broadly-conceived initiative ... engaging families and the community in the process. The project positions the museum as a leader in its field.”
“It is an honor to be recognized by our museum colleagues throughout New England as innovative leaders. What I'm most proud of is that this award recognizes the thoughtful, important work the Museum does every day and every one of us – all staff, volunteers and AmeriCorps members – contributes to this work through deep commitment to our mission and to children and families,” said Museum director Janice O’Donnell.
Providence Children’s Museum’s award-winning project will be featured in upcoming NEMA publications and during a session at the 2010 NEMA conference.