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 closed. Read the 2024 Call for AMM Awards Nominations (Word Version or PDF Version) for details about nomination requirements, and consider nominating someone you know in 2025.

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 early June. Recipients will be announced publicly in July and recognized during an in-person recognition event on August 2 at the Hilton Columbus at Easton, during the 2024 Conference. 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.

Past Recipients

Looking for inspiration or want to learn more about the format of our virtual celebration events? Click here to learn more about our 2023 recipients, and visit the AMM YouTube channel to watch recordings of past virtual awards celebrations.