Annual Awards Program


Each year, the Association of Midwest Museums honors members throughout the Midwest region for leadership, career achievements, and best practices with the following awards:

Distinguished Career Award: The Distinguished Career Award recognizes individuals (paid staff, board members, and volunteers) at mid- to late-museum career stages whose leadership, vision, mentorship, and creativity have—over the course of their careers—had a positive impact on staff and community members and/or resulted in lasting change for their institutions.

Promising Leadership Award: The Promising Leadership Award recognizes the commitment and service of individuals (paid staff, interns, board members, and volunteers) in the early stages of their museum careers who have demonstrated leadership prowess through the implementation of projects or through service to teams/departments. 

Best Practices Award: The Best Practices Award recognizes museums and cultural organizations whose innovative projects (exhibitions, collections stewardship, programs, virtual or in-person) or community partnerships and collaborations have pushed beyond the status quo and led to the advancement of best museum practices or the establishment of new practices at their institutions in order to better fulfill their missions. Nominated projects or initiatives must have been implemented by the time of nomination to be considered and resulted in new practices, knowledge, ideas, and/or replicable models for the museum profession at large.

Groundbreakers Award: The Groundbreakers Award recognizes museums or cultural organizations who have pushed past boundaries, broken conventions, addressed uncomfortable truths about their institution’s histories and connection to oppressive systems and structures, and/or creatively engaged collaborative partners to affect change in the pursuit of a better, more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable future. Nominees’ external or internal projects or initiatives—big or small—have resulted in better support for their staff and volunteers, greater service to their diverse communities, new thinking about their collections, or advancement of social justice work in their communities. Museums of any size are qualified and encouraged to apply, and will be honored for their internal or external efforts to advance diversity and equity at their institutions.

Nominate a Colleague

The Association of Midwest Museums Awards Call for Nominations is now open! Read the Call for AMM Awards Nominations (Word Version or PDF Version) for details about nomination requirements.

The Call for Nominations is now closed.

Awards Selection and Recognition

The AMM Awards Committee will review all nominations following the close of the Call for Nominations. Nominating parties will be notified of the committee’s decision by June 1, 2022. Recipients will be announced publicly in July prior the AMM conference and recognized during an in-person recognition event on July 22 or 23 at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, the conference hotel. In addition, AMM will host a series of virtual celebrations in honor of the recipients in October – November, each featuring a dynamic program. These events will bring together the honorees’ communities to celebrate, including staff and leadership, members and partners, and Midwestern peers. Event planning will occur in August – September.

Meet our 2022 recipients and learn more about their careers and projects at virtual celebrations this November-December! All are welcome for this joyous virtual events. Click here to learn more.

Past Recipients

Looking for inspiration or want to learn more about the format of our virtual celebration events? Learn more about our 2020 and 2021 recipients and events on YouTube here.