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Oct-26-2010 18:40printcomments

Willamette Heritage Center in Salem Wins Prestigious Award

2010 Charles M. Redd Center for Western Studies Award for Exhibition Excellence

Willamette Heritage Center at the Mill - Mission Mill Museum - Marion County Historical Society logos

(SALEM, Ore.) - Willamette Heritage Center is the proud recipient of the 2010 Charles M. Redd Center for Western Studies Award for Exhibition Excellence for its Facing Statehood Exhibition.

This award is given annually and honors excellence for an exhibition that furthers the study and understanding of the American West.

The competition recognizes outstanding achievement of a temporary exhibition (one with a specific closing date) from all types of museums as defined by the American Association of Museums (AAM). The exhibition must have as its principal subject some aspect of the American West, defined as that area west of the Rocky Mountains, including Alaska and Hawaii. The exhibition must have opened to the public in the year prior to that in which the award is given.

The award was founded by the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University. The mission of the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies is to promote the study of the Intermountain West by sponsoring research, publication, teaching, and public programs in a variety of academic disciplines including history, geography, sociology, anthropology, politics, economics, literature, art, folklore, range science, forestry, and popular culture.

Peter Booth, Executive Director of the Willamette Heritage Center, and Curator Keni Sturgeon accepted the award at the Western Museums Association's annual conference on October 18, 2010. "This is an exciting time for the Willamette Heritage Center," said Peter Booth, Executive Director. "We are honored to receive such recognition by other museum professionals.” Facing Statehood won out over other nominations from throughout the West as well as British Columbia, Alaska, Hawaii and the U.S. Territories in the Pacific.

The award judges specifically appreciated the high number of other institutions with whom the Museum collaborated; the number of foundations, groups and donors who funded it; and the number of local groups who provided in-kind services. They also valued how well the exhibition told a very complicated story in a clear and concise manner. And they appreciated the fact that the exhibition reached out beyond the political story and intertwined the experiences of other groups involved including Native Peoples, Black Americans, Asians and more.

Booth added, "I am very proud of everyone’s efforts on this project, especially those of Keni Sturgeon, our lead curator."

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