Amazement Square a 2015 Recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service
The National Medal is a program of The Institute of Museum and Library Services and is the nation’s highest honor and recognizes Amazement Square’s exceptional community contributions. The ten winning institutions (5 museums and 5 libraries) are annually honored at the National Medal award ceremony in Washington, DC.
For almost 25 years, the award has celebrated institutions that present extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service to make a difference for individuals, families, and communities. The honorees exemplify the nation’s great libraries and museums and demonstrate outstanding impact and quality of programs, services, and partnerships, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach. Amazement Square’s story is recorder by StoryCorps—a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans. Learn more about StoryCorps and listen to the interview here.
Celebrations from around the state, our community, supporters and partners:
National Medal FAQs
+ How was Amazement Square selected for the National Medal?
Amazement Square was nominated by the principal of Hutcherson Early Learning Center, one of our community partners. The museum submitted an application including information describing the museum’s history and involvement in the community. A panel, made up of Members of the National Museum and Library Services Board and the director of IMLS, selected the recipients.
+ Why was Amazement Square selected for this award?
All National Medal winners have gone above and beyond to serve their communities. In Amazement Square’s case, this has included helping the revitalization of downtown Lynchburg, reaching out to children and youth with special needs, providing free programming for at-risk children and teens, enriching our city with public art works and free public programming, and making the museum accessible to everyone through sponsored admission.
+ Is the National Medal an award specifically for children’s museums?
No, the National Medal can be received by any type of museum, as well as to public or private libraries.
+ How many museums receive the National Medal each year?
5 museums are selected annually along with 5 libraries
+ How long has the National Medal been awarded?
25 years, its first year was 1994
+ Does the museum receive anything for being awarded the medal?
Just receiving the award is a prestigious honor, but the museum also receives an award of $5,000, and is presented the award at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C.
+ What is the Institute of Museum and Library Services?
Also referred to as IMLS, this organization is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. In fact, Amazement Square has received 4 major grants from IMLS over our 14 years, which have supported various programs and exhibitions, bringing over $336,000 of federal funding to Lynchburg.
+ How many museums are there in the United States?