Columbia Museum of Art wins nation’s highest honor for museum service

Columbia Museum of Art wins nation’s highest honor for museum service

IMLS Gold MedalThe Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced that the Columbia Museum of Art is among the 10 recipients of the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 22 years, the award has celebrated institutions that respond to societal needs in innovative ways, making a difference for individuals, families, and their communities. The award will be presented at an event in Washington, D.C., on June 1.

“At the heart of this recognition are the CMA’s arts educational outreach efforts to at-risk, rural, and underserved communities,” said Karen Brosius, executive director of the Columbia Museum of Art. “Through these unique programs we are enriching lives and engaging minds in ways that encourage South Carolina students of all ages to connect in creative and innovative ways. Our recognition as a national award winner is as much about the CMA as it is about the generosity and spirit of South Carolina. With dynamic exhibitions and educational programs for every age, the CMA is redefining the modern museum.

‘We extend our most heartfelt thanks to each of our community and educational partners, donors, trustees, members, volunteers, friends, and visitors, as well as the City of Columbia, Richland County, and the South Carolina General Assembly. Their visionary leadership and support make all of our work possible.”

The Columbia Museum of Art is also a recipient of the 2016 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts, the highest honor the state presents in the arts.

“This year’s National Medal recipients show the transforming role of museums and libraries from educational destinations to full-fledged community partners and anchors,” said Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “We are proud to recognize the extraordinary institutions that play an essential role in reaching underserved populations and catalyzing new opportunities for active local involvement.”

After the June 1 ceremony, StoryCorps—a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans—will visit each recipient to document stories from the communities of the winning institutions.

The complete list of  2016 National Medal recipients:

  • Brooklyn Public Library (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
  • The Chicago History Museum (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Columbia Museum of Art (Columbia, S.C.)
  • Lynn Meadows Discovery Center for Children (Gulfport, Miss.)
  • Madison Public Library (Madison, Wis.)
  • Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, Ark.)
  • North Carolina State University Libraries (Raleigh, N.C.)
  • Otis Library (Norwich, Conn.)
  • Santa Ana Public Library (Santa Ana, Calif.)
  • Tomaquag Museum (Exeter, R.I.)

Learn more about the National Medal: