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 or 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, or 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, 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 offer new ideas and/or replicable models for the museum profession at large.

NEW! 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, or advancement of social justice work in their communities. Museums of any size are qualified and encouraged to apply. Up to two recipients, small and/or large institutions, 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.

Nominations are due by 11:59pm ET on Tuesday, September 7, 2021.

Awards Selection and Announcement Process

The AMM Awards Committee will review all nominations following the close of the Call for Nominations. We anticipate that nominating parties will be notified of the committee’s decision by October 1, 2021. Recipients will be announced publicly approximately 2-3 weeks prior to the awards recognition events and AMM-WFM 2021 Virtual Conference. 

Recognition Events

AMM will host a series of virtual community celebrations at approximately 4pm CT/ 5pm ET, Monday to Friday, November 1-5, featuring a dynamic program dedicated to the project or individual being recognized. These events will bring together the honorees’ community to celebrate, including staff and leadership, members and partners, and Midwestern peers. Event planning will occur in the month of October. This virtual format was piloted in 2020. Check out last year’s events to learn more about our recipients.