2024 Michigan Museums Association Awards

Michigan museum professionals, volunteers, and supporters gathered at the Rochester Hills Museum at  Van Hoosen Farm on April 25 to present the 2024 member awards. At the awards celebration, twenty-seven MMA members were recognized for special service to their communities, colleagues and others in four different award categories.

Peninsulas Prize: Leadership

The Peninsulas Prize for Leadership was presented to Tami Fauver, Executive Director and Chief Curator at the Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph, Michigan. In that role, she has demonstrated exceptional leadership in advancing the center's mission of providing accessible arts experiences and educational opportunities to the St Joseph and Benton Harbor communities and beyond. Under her guidance, the Krasl Art Center has flourished as a vibrant cultural institution, offering innovative exhibitions, dynamic programming, and impactful outreach initiatives that enrich the lives of residents and visitors alike.

President's Award

The President’s Award is bestowed annually to individuals, companies, or organizations by the current MMA Board President. The award recognizes exemplary support of MMA, service to the Michigan museums field, a career of distinction or for any other criteria deemed appropriate by the MMA Board President. For 2024, MMA Board President Caitlyn Perry Dial selected Tim Chester and Henry Matthews in recognition of their longtime commitment and service to the profession.

Peninsulas Prize: D.E.A.I.

The Peninsulas Prize for DEAI was presented to the Detroit Historical Society for its multi-year initiative, The Hustle: Celebrating Detroit’s Unsung Entrepreneurs. This project chronicled the inspiring stories of Black Detroiter entrepreneurs through a series of quarterly exhibitions at the Detroit Historical Museum that were complemented by public events and education programs, celebrations, and a day-long resource summit. Highlighting basic issues of equity and inclusion in Detroit, these narratives brought to life the social justice and civic rights issues Black entrepreneurs in Detroit have confronted along their path to success and offered inspiration and context for conditions today.

The Detroit Historical Society (DHS) is committed to ensuring that ALL Detroiters can find their stories in its museums. For that reason, DHS centers Diversity Equity Accessibility and Inclusion (DEAI) in all of its efforts. Nevertheless, the stories of Detroit’s successful Black entrepreneurs had never been celebrated either in the Detroit Historical Museum or other cultural institutions around the city. This omission prompted DHS to create a multi-year, one-of-a-kind celebration to tell these important stories and build an expanded constituency for our work. Since The Hustle debuted over 65,000 people have enjoyed free admission to the museum and nearly 20M people have seen a news story, virtual program or social media post covering Black entrepreneurs who are making history in Detroit. 

Colleague Champions

MMA members were invited to nominate colleagues they felt had done something particularly special this year. This year's awardees were nominated for a multitude of reasons, including helping with museum and exhibit renovations projects, advocacy work, fundraising efforts, community engagement, collaboration, making exhibits and institutions more accessible, and for being helpful colleagues and leaders in the field. The twenty-three members presented with a Colleague Champion Award were:

  • Chris Allen – Michigan’s G.A.R. Memorial Hall and Museum
  • Austin Eighmey – Henry Ford Estate
  • LeeAnn Ewer – Mackinac State Historic Parks
  • Grace Gardziella – Kalamazoo Valley Museum
  • Malea Howard – Edsel & Eleanor Ford House
  • Sarah Humes – Grand Rapids Public Museum
  • Heather Jackson – Flint Institute of Arts
  • Davina Kuh Jakobi - Applewood
  • Heather Lehman – Kalamazoo Valley Museum
  • Ricki Levine – Holland Museum
  • Hannah McCready – Henry Ford Estate
  • Joe O’Neal – Argus Museum
  • Melanie Parker – Ilitch Holdings, Inc.
  • Melanie Raupp – Edsel & Eleanor Ford House
  • Ashley Ross – Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum
  • Ashley Rotarius – Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm
  • Libby Sheldon – Flint Institute of Arts
  • Loren Stevens – Edsel & Eleanor Ford House
  • Kelly Sullivan – University of Michigan Museum of Natural History
  • Cameron Voss – Zekelman Holocaust Center
  • Michelle Walk – Mackinac State Historic Parks
  • Patience Williams – Zekelman Holocaust Center
  • Geoff Woodcox – Sloan Museum of Discovery & Longway Planetarium

    Click here to view a list of past award recipients. 

    2024 Awards Partners

    The Michigan Museums Association is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Arts and Culture Council

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