We presented three awards this year at our Annual Meeting on September 20, 2023!
AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE FIELD
The first award presented at our Annual Meeting was for the Award for Excellence in the Field. Nominations for the Award for Excellence are made for exceptional exhibits, collections care, planning, marketing, publications, significant improvements to physical plant, conservation, etc.
This year's awardee is Faith Revell, Curator of Education and Public Programs, Valdez Museum and Historical Archive! Patty Relay presented the award:
"In 2011, I hired Faith Revell as the Valdez Museum & Historical Archives first Curator of Education & Public Programs. Since that time, Faith has embraced the role of Community Connector. In addition to working with the schools to bring students to the Museum, she collaborated with local agencies like Valdez Adventure Alliance, the public radio station, artists, the senior center, scholars, historians and the fisheries just to name a few. As her former supervisor, I would say Faith spearheaded a culture of inclusivity welcoming all to the Museum as well as embracing the philosophy that the whole community is part of the Museum.
I also have some statements from community members that I'd like to share:
Beverly Colapietro stated, "Ms. Revell is truly an outstanding educator and connector of people. Her level of commitment to excellence in every program she touches has helped make our local museum a genuinely enlightening experience for locals and out-of-town guests."
Kent Runion lent his support for Faith, saying, "Faith is a frequent guest and contributor to my Alaska History courses at Valdez High School. I rely on her expertise to help students interpret primary sources and artifacts and learn how to study history. Using hands-on examples, students are able to see how historical interpretation is done and they leave her class aware that history is not just something in a textbook."
Sharry Miller sings Faith's praises with the following, "Faith has been a tireless proponent of arts education at the museum in ways that involve community members of all ages. My daughter and I have participated in numerous art workshops Faith has taught herself, as well as ones she coordinated with visiting artists. She is always an energetic, engaging, and enthusiastic workshop instructor and host. Additionally, I have attended and presented at Tuesday Nite History Talks, unfailingly fun and intellectually stimulating opportunities."
Lanette Oliver added, "For more than a year Faith worked with elementary teachers to create an entire historical unit with interactive activities, literally taking the museum to the students. Additionally, Faith started the 12 Free Days of Christmas. All these activities engage the community with each other, and create a legacy and long-term impact, as many of the students then convince their families to continue regular visits to the museum."
Thank you, Faith, for all of your excellent work at the Valdez Museum and Historical Archives."
MIDNIGHT SUN AWARD
We have a new award this year. We received several nominations for the Lifetime Achievement Award and both were extremely worthy. Our next awardee is still very active in the field, so we have decided to award her our Midnight Sun Award! The Midnight Sun Award is an award that may be awarded for extraordinary achievements.
Our very first Midnight Sun Awardee is CJ Jones, consultant and former executive director of the Haines Sheldon Museum! Bethany Buckingham Follett presented the award:
"CJ served for 21 years as director of the Sheldon Museum in Haines and has served on the Haines Volunteer Fire Department as a firefighter and EMT2 since 1983. She has instructed many emergency preparedness courses and drills and worked in law enforcement. In 2016 CJ served as interim director of the Museum of the Aleutians and recently came back to the Haines Sheldon Museum to help with their reaccreditation process.
CJ has been a quiet, kind, and passionate leader in our field for decades - always promoting our work and its purpose. She has lobbied in Juneau for our museums and cultural institutions. CJ is always ready to help and go where she is needed, anywhere in the state. Every time I talk with CJ or see her in passing at various activities and events I always learn something new about her experiences. and CJ always has a bit of knowledge and information to impart to me that helps me move forward in my own museum and emergency preparedness work. I am sure each of you have your own adventures with CJ, and if not, no worries, I am sure she will be there to assist you when you need it or least expect it.
We look forward to her continued contributions to the field in the coming years because she doesn't seem to be slowing down.
Congratulations, CJ, on setting the bar for this first Midnight Sun Award for extraordinary achievements. Thank you for all you've done for our field!"
AWARD IN HONOR OF LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
And our final award of the year is for our Award in Honor of Lifetime Achievement. Nominations for the Award in Honor of Lifetime Achievement recognize the contributions of an individual over a career.
Our Lifetime Achievement awardee is Sue Deyoe, former executive director of Talkeetna Historical Society! Christine Carpenter presented the award:
"When Sue was hired by the Talkeetna Historical Society, the museum was on the verge of folding. With Sue's guidance and vision, not to mention tenacity and passion, she has brought the museum to be a much loved part of the community. Under Sue's tenure, the museum was able to start an endowment; develop a master plan for the many historic buildings owned by the museum in town; install a walking tour; foster an excellent working relationship with the National Park Service; and create a thriving year-round tour program. After many years of service, Sue retired this year, and I think it would be remiss to not acknowledge her dedication to the historical society, museum, Talkeetna community, and Alaska museum field."
Thank you to all of our nominators, nominees, and awardees! You all do and have done so much to improve the field and lives of those in your communities. We are lucky to have such wonderful colleagues!