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MPMA Awards and Competitions

Deadline for entries is July 7

Notifications will be made on August 5

Leadership and Innovation Award

Innovation is more important than ever and the MPMA Leadership and Innovation Award celebrates the creative spirit of MPMA member institutions honoring leadership in and innovation in all areas of museum operation.

Innovation can include, but is not limited to, the following areas: audience and community building, collections management, education programs, exhibits, interpretation, management practices, outreach initiatives, public programs, use of technology and visitor experience.

Award winners will receive free basic conference registration and a ticket to the awards banquet.

Nominations must demonstrate:
• Originality and creativity—How original and creative is the project?

• Practicality and Replication—Is the project practical and can it be done by others?

• Connection to Mission—Does the project relate to the institution’s mission?

• Impact on Community—Does the project provide benefits beyond the institution?

Nominations must include a description of the program up to five pages in length. The description must include:

• Institutional mission
• Project goals

• How project fits within the institutions long-range plan

• Project cost

• Target audience (This might include staff and/or volunteers.)

• Measurable outcomes

The nomination may include photographs or illustrations.

Entry Form
(requires Google sign-in)

Carolyn Garrett Pool Student Award

The Carolyn Garrett Pool Award is given in recognition of an outstanding student at a university within the MPMA region. The student must be enrolled in a museum studies program or history, archaeology or anthropology with a strong museum emphasis. Students must have demonstrated outstanding academic success, leadership, and ability to complete projects within a museum setting. Self-nominations are permitted. The student must have completed a minimum of 12 hours in the program to qualify. Eligibility for the award extends through the first full semester following graduation.

Nominations must consist of:
• Cover letter describing the student’s qualifications and how the qualifications meet the
award criteria
• Description of museum project completed and an evaluation of the project
• Verification of enrollment in one of the defined areas of study at a university within the MPMA region

• Letter of support from a faculty member at the university detailing the student’s
academic performance and describing the museum studies component of the program if the area of study is not museum studies

• Letter of support from a staff member or volunteer at the museum where the museum
project was completed Additional letters of support may be included along with other supporting materials (i.e. photographs) where appropriate.

Entry Form
(requires Google Sign-In)

Rodeck Award

The Rodeck Award recognizes an individual member of MPMA who has contributed significant service to the museum field within the region and to MPMA. It is given infrequently and only in recognition of long and very distinguished service. Recipients are noted for their contributions to the field of state, provincial, and local history, art, anthropology or natural history, and are recognized nationally as leaders in the profession. MPMA employees are not eligible. Recipient must be present to accept award.

Nominations must demonstrate:
• The nature and extent of individual service

• Significance of scope of service
• Contribution to the growth and development of
the profession

Past recipients of the Hugo Rodeck Award for Excellence:
■ 1989 Hugo Rodeck ■ 1990 Cindy Sherrell-Leo ■ 1993 Jo Steward Randal ■ 1994 Albert
Heine ■ 1998 Sam Hoyle ■ 1999 Dennis Medina ■ 2002 Anne Bond ■ 2003 Kittu Longstreth-Brown ■ 2004 Kit Neuman ■ 2004 Lorena Donahue ■ 2007 Georgianna Contiguglia ■ 2011 Peter Tirrell ■ 2012 Arthur H. Wolf ■ 2016 Kathy Dickson ■ 2016 Eileen Johnson ■ 2017 Michael J. Smith

Rodeck Award Nominations must consist of a cover letter describing the nominee’s qualifications, and how they meet the award’s criteria, supporting letters, and materials that outline the nominee’s career (resume).
Email all materials to

President’s Award

The President’s award is given for significant service to MPMA. The award can be presented to an individual, institution, or business that is a member of MPMA in recognition for extra-ordinary service to the organization. The award is a public recognition of those people, institutions or businesses that have contributed significantly in any capacity to the continued growth and success of MPMA.

Competitive Award Programs

Publication Design Competition 

The Mountain-Plains Museums Association (MPMA) is accepting entries for the annual publication design competition. The Publication Design Competition recognizes outstanding publication design by MPMA member institutions.  This is a juried competition with a minimum of three judges.

Competition winners will demonstrate outstanding achievement in the following areas:
•    Content: quality of writing, script, narrative, editing and research
•    Image: quality of video and/or still images with attention to how objects are visualized
•    Audio: the quality and innovative application of sound in a multimedia project
•    Interface: the visitor and user’s experience with attention to ease of use  
•    Design: the visual appeal of graphic elements and the overall “look and feel”
•    Accessibility: the compliance with universal design guidelines
•    Innovation: new applications or old challenges resolved in a new way
•    Appropriate use: is the technology effective, given its audience, purpose, and content
•    Overall appeal: success of connecting with a defined audience

There is a $15 fee for entering this award competition.

Technology Competition

The MPMA Technology Competition recognizes museums for innovative and effective use of technology to serve the needs of their audience. This is a juried competition with a minimum of three judges.  Judges are museum and media professionals with expertise in media and technology programming, production, and subject content.

There is a $15 fee for entering this award competition.

Professional Interest Network Awards

MPMA EdCom Award

EdCom Award for Programming Excellence in the MPMA Region

This award recognizes exemplary creativity and innovation in museum educational programming in the MPMA region.

(requires Google sign-in)

Due July 31 - Recipients will be notified by September 1

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MPMA: A 10-State Regional Museum Association

Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming

P.O. Box 140598 | Broken Arrow, OK 74014
440-812-7221   | |

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