Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
Award presented by Lisa Craig Brisson, Executive Director of the Michigan Museums Association.
Bettina has been an active volunteer for MMA for several years. Her efforts have been particularly strong regarding planning of the association’s annual conference. Last year she led the communications team and helped map out a permanent communications strategy as well as incorporated social media in the conference experience.
This year Bettina led the engagement team. This team created spaces and experiences that helped MMA stay connected at the conference, which was held jointly with a large national association. Bettina was been both innovative and collaborative with each of the teams- no small feat, especially since conference teams are mostly virtual, meeting via conference call and using online project management tools.
Juanita Moore Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Award presented by Emily Fijol, President of the Michigan Museums Association Board of Directors to LaNesha DeBardelaben, Senior Vice President of Education & Exhibitions at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, on behalf of Moore, who had a family emergency.
As President and CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Juanita Moore has brought the museum visionary leadership for the past ten years and brings the institution nearly 40 years of museum experience. Her achievements are numerous. The recession of 2008 - 2011 was a time when many museums around the country scaled back their operations, but Juanita shepherded The Wright Museum through the Detroit Bankruptcy crisis and funding cuts from the city by establishing new partnerships and increasing programming and public outreach.
The Wright now hosts nearly 300 public events annually attracting over 300,000 attendees per year, nearly tripling visitation numbers since her arrival in 2006. Juanita brings her expertise to other community organizations, serving on the Board of the International Council of Museums, Midtown Detroit Inc., CultureSource, and as a member of the Michigan Freedom Trail Commission. She is a visionary thinker, gracious mentor, and role model for many.
Award presented by Henry Matthews, Michigan Museums Association Board of Directors, to Todd Slisher, Executive Director of the Sloan Museum.
At the crux of the water crisis in Flint, “Water’s Extreme Journey” opened at Sloan*Longway. This traveling exhibit was used as a jumping off point to examine the Flint water crisis. With it, dynamic community programming was developed, creating a conversation through scientific inquiry, play, and art. The exhibit was developed to empower visitors to take action, commit to clean water, and express their support for clean water initiatives. Once through the maze of the exhibit, visitors could delve into Flint’s water system history, learn the science of filtration, examine current issues and solutions, and investigate the Flint River today.
Earth Day was another opportunity for the Sloan to engage with the community, partnering with the Flint Cultural Center on an Earth Day Celebration. The museum offered hands-on stations throughout the exhibit that encouraged families to interact with each other. These science stations focused on concepts of wetlands, groundwater, water treatment, the water cycle, and habitat. Also during this time, the Longway Planetarium had viewings of the film Mysteries of the Great Lakes. The film showcased the amazing geography, ecology, science, and history of one of the largest freshwater resources in the world and highlighted the need for preservation and conservation.