Michigan museum professionals, volunteers, and supporters gathered at the Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores on May 12 to celebrate the Michigan Museum Association’s (MMA) 50th Anniversary and present the 2022 member awards. At the awards celebration, 19 MMA members were recognized for special service to their communities, colleagues and others in 2022 with four different awards. “What better way is there to celebrate Michigan's museums than to recognize and honor those doing the good work? Museums provide learning and growth opportunities for communities around the state every day. As a leader in the tourism industry, museums are central to Michigan's economy and the health and wellbeing of our residents,” said Jason Dake, MMA Board President.
Peninsulas Prize: Leadership
The Peninsulas Prize for Leadership was presented to Phil Porter, retired director of Mackinac State Historic Parks (MSHP). He was instrumental in forming Mackinac State Historic Parks into the museum it is today, assisting with the opening of three MSHP structures, the reconstruction of Fort Holmes, the opening of two historical trails, and the Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Museum. He has also served on several boards throughout the region and state, including the Michigan Museums Association board.
The President’s Award is bestowed annually to one individual, company, or organization 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 2022, MMA Board President Jason Dake selected Mark Heppner, President & CEO of the Ford House and former MMA Board member in recognition of his commitment and service to the profession.
Peninsulas Prize: D.E.A.I.
The Peninsulas Prize for DEAI was presented to the Saugatuck Douglas History Center (SDHC) for its 2021 path-breaking exhibit, A Century of Progress: 100 Years of LGBTQ History in Saugatuck-Douglas.
Covering over 100 years of history, the exhibit shares the stories of people living in the margins at the Lakeshore in a timeline format with local, state, and national LGBTQ developments included for context. Interpretive panels identify factors that have contributed to the diverse and inclusive nature of these two small Lake Michigan coastal villages alongside historical artwork and artifacts from SDHC collections.
The exhibit displays not only the progress made by the LGBTQ community, but also the challenges it has faced and the setbacks it has endured. This work has garnered regional and national attention including several area museums contacting the SDHC for programming on LGBTQ History.
MMA members were invited to nominate colleagues they felt had done something particularly special this year. Those nominated did everything from supporting volunteers, conducting renovation projects, overcoming pandemic hurdles, bringing learning to the public, wearing many hats successfully, cleaning up collections, and being all around wonderful colleagues and leaders in their field. The 17 members presented with a Colleague Champion Award were: