Honoring the Future: The 2013 Director’s Chair Award

By Dr. Julie K. Stein d_chair_ps

“A chance to recognize those unsung heroes of our profession...not necessarily just for directors.”

When the Western Museums Association (WMA) asked me to write a blog post about the Director’s Chair Award as the Immediate Past-President and supervisor for the Award, I got to thinking. Do people know the history of this Award, and why does it carry this name?

The Director’s Chair Award was originally started in 1991. The Award is “presented annually to an individual who has had a significant and lasting impact on museum practices or the museum profession in the Western Region.” So what does that mean within the context and legacy of the WMA? It is important that the WMA acknowledges these skills as the Association continually aims to foster thinking and growth among our museum peers.

Recipients of the Director’s Chair award need to have a vision of where they want museums to be in the future, as well as the fortitude and ability to help museums get there. To me, that means the Director’s Chair Award goes to someone that is entrenched in the world of museums and has influenced practice, thought, and their community on micro and macro levels. With such emphasis on future studies, this person also has the ability to see trends and look to the future with all museums in mind. What better way to acknowledge someone who promotes excellence and directs the future of thought in the world of museums?

To submit a nomination for the Director’s Chair Award please submit a letter outlining the nominee’s qualifications and how they meet the above criteria.

The letter must include YOUR name, title, institution, phone number; THE NOMINEE’S name, title and institution. Give specific examples as to how the nominee meets some or all of the above criteria.

Email application to: wma@westmuse.org no later than July 15, 2013. You will receive a confirmation email upon receipt of your application, and you will be notified of the final award results no later than August 15, 2013.

Dr. Julie K. Stein is the Immediate Past-President of the Western Museums Association. She is also the Executive Director of the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Washington, Seattle.



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