Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Every year the Institute of Museum and Library Services honors 5 libraries and 5 museums with a National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The Award has been described as the highest honor in the library and museum community. Among this year’s prizewinners is the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Museum Executive Director Jane Werner says she was surprised and humbled by the award announced today. The Museum was nominated by a staffer and Werner says when they cut the cake to celebrate, “They get the big icing rose on top.” Werner says the museum was chosen for its commitment to the community. She says often Museums don’t “get outside their walls… but we feel we need to be agents of change in the community.” The award comes with a $10,000 cash prize and an opportunity to present at a national museum and library conference in Washington. Werner says she will focus on the museum’s many community projects including their afterschool programs, the Head Start partnership with the Pittsburgh Public School District, and the “Charm Bracelet Project.” The project brings together 17 different cultural, educational, and recreational organizations on the North Shore to work together to “transform traditional understandings of how institutions make community impact.” Werner says her vision of the future has Pittsburgh know worldwide as “Kidsburgh.” She says, “wouldn’t it be great, the next time the G20 comes here, they come here because we are such a great place for children.” Werner says along with a small gathering for staff and board members the cash will be used to extend their mission.