Call for 2015 PA Museums Awards Nominations


Each year, PA Museums recognizes the special achievements of museums and historical organizations in Pennsylvania. This is your invitation to submit a nomination for a project, process, or individual that you know is exemplary.

A PA Museums Special Achievement Award distinguishes your organization by:

  • Serving as public recognition of staff or volunteers, and providing an incentive to continue developing new and exciting projects;
  • Encouraging your staff to establish and maintain standards of excellence in your institution;
  • Providing a vehicle to promote your institution through media news releases, and membership and fundraising campaigns;
  • Reinforcing your case for the quality of your programs in grant or sponsorship proposals; and
  • Publicly honoring awardees before peers and invited guests at a special awards ceremony during PA Museums’ statewide conference.

Doesn’t your organization deserve to be there when awards are presented in 2015?

The deadline for submitting nominations is January 3, 2015 by 11:59 PM. Email nominations to Chrisoula Randas Perdziola.

Winners will be notified by February 13, 2015. Formal recognition will be given on the PA Museums’ website, in Tapestry, and at an awards ceremony at our annual conference in Harrisburg on April 13, 2015. Winners are encouraged to invite staff, board members, their members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, civic leaders from their community, and their local press representative to attend the awards ceremony.

Please email questions to Rusty Baker or Chrisoula Randas Perdziola.


A nominee for an award must be a member of PA Museums.

Anyone may submit a nomination, including staff of the nominated organization.

Nominations for joint projects may be submitted if all major partners are PA Museums’ members.

PA Museums’ business affiliate members and individual members who are full- or part-time consultants are eligible for an award when the project has benefited a PA Museums’ institutional member and has been submitted jointly with that member.

Groups of volunteers are not eligible for individual achievement awards.

Primary consideration will be given to projects completed within 18 months before the January 3, 2015 deadline. The judges may also consider nominations for exceptional programs or individual volunteer activities extending over a longer period of time.

To check the status of your membership, please contact Rusty Baker, Executive Director, PA Museums, 717.909.4951.


Institutional Awards
Institutional Awards recognize outstanding and innovative projects that have provided an exemplary contribution to the museum, public history, or cultural tourism field in Pennsylvania. A nomination may be made for any project or best practice that serves to raise the bar of excellence in the field.

Some examples of projects are:

  • An exhibit and related interpretive programming that presents an event/topic, or tells a story in an innovative and compelling fashion.
  • A successful cultural tourism program with marketing and media components that resulted in community development and collaboration.
  • A publication or a school program that reaches and engages a previously underserved audience.
  • A model earned-income program that has strengthened fiscal independence.
  • A website providing greater public access to your programs and collections.

Some examples of a best practice may be:

  • A creative outreach initiative to broaden audiences (both visitors and online).
  • An exemplary or new housekeeping routine.
  • A state-of-the-art volunteer or docent-training program.
  • An innovative collections conservation or interpretive plan.

Individual Awards
Individual Awards recognize leadership at the board or community level, professional accomplishments for institutional employees, and long-term volunteer efforts that have benefited PA Museums’ institutional members.

Special Award Categories
PA Museums may award Special Awards (President’s Award, Director’s Award, Legislative Award, Institutional Advancement Award) at the discretion of the Awards Committee.

Carol Wickkiser Memorial Award
This $500 award recognizes exceptional promise and potential for leadership in an emerging professional with 10 years or less experience in the field. It is to be used for continuing education to enhance his or her expertise, promoting collegial connections, and inspiring excellence and continued dedication to service to cultural institutions, museums, or historical organizations.


Institutional Awards
PA Museums’ Awards Committee judges nominations using three key scoring criteria to guide discussions. These are:

Quality of the project, process or service (0-40 points)

How was this project implemented? What was innovative about this project? Is the project an outstanding example? What are the new ideas and how did you find them?

Audience: Access or Public Engagement (0-40 points)

How did this project or practice benefit the public? What audiences were targeted, how did you engage them, and what parts of your community became involved with your institution as a result? How did the project increase access to the institution’s exhibits, programs, or collections?

Management (0-20 points)

Was the project well planned and managed? Did completing the project relate to the mission? Were you able to implement the project at the highest level possible, given your staff and budget size? Is the nomination clear and complete?

Pennsylvania is privileged to have more than 1,100 cultural institutions, museums, and historical organizations of all sizes and disciplines. Projects are judged on their merits within the context of an organization’s own institutional capacity.

Individual Awards
PA Museums’ Awards Committee judges nominations using three key scoring criteria similar to those above to guide discussions. These are:

Quality of the leadership, professional practice, or volunteer work (0-40 points)

What makes this person’s work stand out? What could others learn from his or her example?

Impact of the individual effort (0-40 points)

How has this person’s leadership, professional work, or volunteer service helped audiences or the institution? How has his or her work increased the institution’s capacity or advanced its place in a community?

Management (0-20 points)

Does this person’s work reflect sound judgment, and is it well managed and fiscally responsible? Is the nomination clear and complete?



PA Museums 2015 Special Achievement Awards


Please reproduce this form on your computer.

Nominator’s Information

Name & Title:



Nominee’s Information

Name & Title (this person would accept an award):

Institution’s Mission Statement:

Category:     ___ Institutional Award        ____ Individual Award

Project Title (for Institutional Awards):



Please attach a budget for institutional projects only that includes income and expenses, in-kind support, and staff time.


In no more than 1,500 words or three (3) double-spaced pages, please describe your nominated project or individual nominee’s accomplishments. For institutional awards, you may include the planning, implementation, and results of a project, or the specific improvements to the institution’s capacity. For individual awards, you may describe an individual’s background, contributions to projects, and the impact this person has made on the institution. Consider the judging criteria when preparing your nomination.

Although not required, please feel free to submit any supporting information, such as press releases, media articles, or photos that you would like to share with the judges.

The deadline for submitting nominations is January 3, 2015 by 11:59 PM. Email nominations to Chrisoula Randas Perdziola.

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