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IMA Wins 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Services

It’s a big day! The IMA was just named one of the 10 recipients of the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Services, the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries. Indiana Senator Richard Lugar nominated the Museum about which he said, “The IMA provides the Indianapolis community with valuable arts programming, education and many special exhibitions through the exploration of art, design, and the natural environment. It is truly a treasure in Indianapolis and very deserving of this prestigious honor.”

The annual award presented by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) since 1994, recognizes institutions for outstanding social, educational, environmental, or economic contributions to their communities. According to IMLS Director Anne-Imelda M. Radice, the IMA was selected for the award based on the Museum’s “exemplary programs (that) respond to community challenges, positively impact people’s lives, and serve as models for the nation’s museums.”

National Medal for Museum and Library Service

National Medal for Museum and Library Service

While the award recognizes the collective contributions of the entire museum, I wanted to share just a few of the programs cited.


VIEWFINDERS, a program of the IMA’s School & Teacher Programs Department that serves more than 9,000 third grade students annually from Indianapolis Public Schools and other school districts. Free family memberships are given to all Viewfinders participants.

IMA ACCESSIBILITY, including partnerships with the Indiana School for the Deaf and the Indiana School for the Blind, captioning on all IMA-produced video, large print text available in the Museum galleries, and assistant listening, accessible seating, and signing interpretation in Tobias Theater.

ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP, including the museum’s green design initiatives and ENERGY STAR award for energy efficiency – the first ever to be awarded to a museum.

ONLINE INITIATIVES, including, an online community of 19 (and growing) partner organizations created to showcase art-based video content.

Thank you, thank you to all those who helped to make this award possible. If Senator Lugar or the staff of the IMLS were here, I’d give them a big hug. IMA colleagues – Get ready, because I’m gonna be a high fiven’ machine today!

Congrats, ya’ll!

Read more in today’s Indianapolis Star.

Filed under: Art, Current Events, Musings

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