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Our Annual Awards application is open! 
Deadline for submission is Friday, March 1st, 2024.

To learn more about an award or to submit an application for an award please click on the button below and fill out the Google Form. If you have any questions regarding an award or would like more information please email us at, illinoismuseums@gmail.com.


Need some guidance for submitting your award application? Scroll to the bottom of the page for an example application and some questions to help you with submitting your application


Innovation Awards are given to museums who have ventured out of their customary practices to try something new in the last year. This could be embracing new technology, creating new interactives for visitors, creatively transforming collections storage, new ways of funding, or exciting partnerships.  Please note: This has to be innovative for the museum applying, it does not have to be revolutionary for the museum world as a whole. If you tried something new and learned from it, this is the award to apply for. 



The Anniversary Awards will be given to member institutions who are celebrating special anniversaries: Awards can be given for 10 years, 25 years, 50 years, 75 years, and 100 years in existence.


Awards of Distinction recognize achievements and excellence in the museum field. Typically, individual per category will be honored. However, the IAM Awards Committee reserves the right to grant more than one award in a category. No individual may win the same award more often than once every five years. 


Awards of Distinction recognize achievements and excellence in the museum field. Typically, one institution per category will be honored. However, the IAM Awards Committee reserves the right to grant more than one award in a category. No institution may win the same award more often than once every five years. 


Best Practices Awards recognize museums for excellence in specific categories of the museum field.  Categories are: Conservation/Collections, Exhibits, Building/Site Preservation, Educational Programming, Special Projects, Printed Materials, Virtual Materials, Green Initiatives, and Community Partnerships. 


Museums may submit nominations in up to two different best practices categories, but the projects nominated must have been substantially completed in 2023.  Awards will be given at three levels: Award Of Merit, Award of Excellence, and Award of Superior Achievement.


These awards recognize and celebrate volunteers with long years of faithful service at member institutions: 10 years, 25 years, 50 years, and Lifetime Achievement awards can be given. Members may also nominate a longtime volunteer who has achieved a different yearly milestone. 


Welcome awards are for new museums less than 3 years old.



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Illinois Association of Museums
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Chicago, IL 60631

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