Annual Meeting Award Winners

Read the 2023 Press Release for MAAM’s Annual Meeting Award Winners here.

The Making an Impact Award

This award honors museums and institutions as a whole for developing either a program, exhibition, or special project that displays responsiveness and resourcefulness and have resulted in creative change for their organizations and a positive impact on their communities.

2023 Award Winner-Nemours Estate

The recipient of the 2023 award is Nemours Estate for their work with children, families, and hospital associates of Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware with whom they share a campus and legacy.

During COVID, Nemours Estate collaborated with the hospital to create an “open air” entrance so hospital visitors could safely and easily walk on and off its grounds and visit with patients. Additionally,  in cooperation with Nemours Children’s Hospital Department of Weight Management, Nemours Estate designed, installed, and maintained a large container garden in an otherwise underutilized concrete courtyard, using containers made of various repurposed materials to grow fruits and vegetables. This effort evolved into the “Can Grow Garden,” which now features raised and accessible planting beds outside of the hospital’s cafeteria. Produce from the Can Grow Garden is given away to patients and families of the hospital, and the garden space is used for interpretation, activities, and special events.

“I have seen personally how much of a positive impact the Nemours Estate gardeners make every day by maintaining the vegetable garden for our hospital community,” says Sara Narimanian, Child Life Program Coordinator, Nemours Children’s Health, Delaware Valley. “I have also seen their efforts to help combat food insecurity through the tomato handout program and love to see the positive interactions that the Estate staff get to have with patients…the Estate is always there for the hospital as a partner.”

Additionally, Nemours Estate has made garden areas on the Estate available to hospital patients and families for visits, support group meetings, retreats, and summer camps.

The Emerging Museum Professional Award

An award celebrating outstanding emerging professionals who have worked or volunteered in the museum industry for fewer than 7 years.

2023 Award Winner-Dalena Collins

This year’s recipient is Dalena Collins, who is currently working on her Master of Arts in Public History at Duquesne University and is employed at The Frick Pittsburgh as the Coordinator of Learning and Visitor Experiences. She has a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from Northern Arizona University, with a double minor in History and Chinese. Her colleagues noted that Collins is a strong voice for access and accessibility and emphasizes the stories of real people in her tours.

“Ms. Collins has demonstrated a deep commitment to ensuring multifaceted, complex, underexamined, and often considered “difficult” histories are presented sensitively, yet explored fully, to and with public audiences,” says Stephanie Gray, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History of Duquesne University. “She understands that upending long-held traditional and comforting narratives that Americans tell themselves about their pasts is a challenge, but she truly believes that fuller, more inclusive, more complicated interpretations that allow for self-reflection are important to civic health.”

The Katherine Coffey Award

The Katherine Coffey Award is given each year by the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums to an individual in the Mid-Atlantic region to recognize distinguished achievement in the museum field. The Coffey Award ceremony is held annually at the MAAM Annual Meeting and is one of the pinnacle events of the conference.

Past Award Winners

The Katherine Coffey Award is MAAM’s highest honor. The following individuals have been recognized for distinguished achievement in the museum field.

2023 Recipient-Philip Yenaine

The 2023 recipient, Philip Yenawine, received his Master of Arts degree from Goddard College. He became the founding director of the Aspen Center for the Visual Arts, (now the Aspen Art Museum) and ran programs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum of Modern Art; and South Street Seaport Museum.

Throughout his career, Yenawine’s work has been focused on connecting people to art and developing visual literacy skills. His collaborative work with colleagues (especially developmental psychologist Abigail Housen) and rigorous approach to teaching the art of careful looking eventually became globally known as Visual Thinking Strategies. Today, museum educators who talk about developing observational skills, evidence-based learning, and careful listening and empathy, can all trace these educational approaches to Yenawine’s rigorous methodology.

Deborah Schwartz, MAAM board member and Yenawine’s nominator, says of him, “Philip has inspired thousands of educators far and wide with his brilliant teaching, and his innovative thinking about the power of art and artifacts and the importance of learning in museums.”

Yenawine is one of the founders of Visual AIDS, and the originator of the “Day Without Art” event that became a national movement to bring heightened awareness to the terrible losses of artists and art professionals as the AIDS pandemic swept across the world in the 1980s. He is also the co-founder of Art Matters, a foundation supporting contemporary artists. He continues to teach and is currently the Creative Director of the Watershed Collaborative, a nonprofit educational organization that offers online training in Visual Thinking Strategies. He is also a founder of the Hailey Group, an organization that offers its clients transformative experiences in looking deeply at great works of art with the work of developing equitable learning culture within the workplace.

  • 2023 Philip Yenawine
  • 2022 Phyllis Hecht
  • 2021 Carol B. Stapp
  • 2020 Not awarded due to pandemic year
  • 2019 Kinshasha Holman Conwill
  • 2018 Sonnet Takahisa
  • 2017 Richard Piacentini
  • 2016 Pamela Green
  • 2013 Courtney Wilson
  • 2012 Sally Roesch Wagner
  • 2011 Rebecca Alban Hoffberger
  • 2010 Mary Sue Sweeney Price
  • 2005 Mary Case
  • 2004 Pauline Eversmann
  • 2003 Jim Gold
  • 2009 Gretchen Sorin
  • 2008 Martha Morris
  • 2007 Richard Burkert
  • 2006 Nicholas Westbrook
  • 1998 Marie C. Malaro
  • 1997 50th Anniversary of MAAM + Celebration of all award winners to date
  • 1996 Lynne Poirer-Wilson
  • 1995 Michael J. Ripton
  • 1994 Joel N. Bloom
  • 1993 Mary Alexander
  • 1992 James H. Duff
  • 1991 Samuel C. Miller
  • 1990 Stephen E. Weil
  • 1989 Charles F. Hummel
  • 1988 William T. Alderson
  • 1987 Susan Stitt
  • 1986 Paul N. Perrot
  • 1985 Joseph Veach Noble
  • 1984 Caroline & Sheldon Keck
  • 1983 William C. Steere
  • 1982 Holman J. Swinney
  • 1981 Frank A. Taylor
  • 1980 Louis Clark Jones
  • 1979 Eva Ingersoll Gatling
  • 1978 Dorothy Dudley
  • 1977 Edward P. Alexander
  • 1976 Adelyn Dohme Breeskin
  • 1975 W. Stephen Thomas
  • 1974 Gordon M. Smith
  • 1973 Ralph Lewis
  • 1972 Hanna Toby Rose
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