OMA Award Spotlight - Sarah Sisser

Recognizing excellence in Ohio museums during Arts and Humanities Month

To help celebrate October as Arts and Humanities Month, and to kick-off the call for nominations for this year's OMA awards, we'll be highlighting our 2018 OMA Award of Achievement winners throughout the month with our OMA Award Spotlight. Originally published in May, we are featuring these Award Winner Spotlights again during Arts and Humanities Month to help champion the amazing projects, programs and professionals that make Ohio's museum community strong.

The Awards of Achievement are presented to reflect the outstanding quality and caliber of work by Ohio museums and their professionals in two categories: Institutional Achievement Awards and Individual Achievement Awards.

Nominations for these awards are incredibly detailed. This in-depth process helps to illustrate how these institutions and individuals have gone “above and beyond” the normal call of duty to support their institution, serve their public and advance the cause of the museum community.

Each year, the review panel is overwhelmed by the outstanding projects, innovative programming and dedication to our field as exhibited in each of the institutional and individual nominations. Congratulations again to each of our 2018 award winners! 

Today, we'll be featuring our winner for the 2018 award for Emerging Professional of the Year.

Sarah Sisser - Hancock Historical Museum

Since being named Executive Director in 2013 at the age of 26, Sarah Sisser has been responsible for overseeing the operations of an extensive campus that includes nine buildings, and programming that reaches more than 20,000 people, including more than 4,000 schoolchildren.

During the past five years she has raised and managed more than $1.2 million dollars in capital improvement projects, including the construction of a transportation annex, a learning institute, an interactive government center, and an agricultural exhibit center. She has collaborated with community partners, both public and private, to leverage funding and create programming that reaches diverse audiences across the state.

The success of programs like the museum’s Historic Barn Tour – a self-guided tour of historic barns across Hancock County – is a beautiful example of connecting the public to local history through meaningful, and popular, programming. During the tour’s 4th year in 2017, nearly 1,000 people took part, including guests from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Georgia.

Sarah’s community involvement, at both the local and state levels, has increased the visibility of the Hancock Historical Museum, and a result, attendance at programming has nearly tripled.

As Pat Williamsen of Ohio Humanities noted, “Sarah is an exemplary model of a modern museum professional whose charge is to be more than a steward of the past. Sarah excels at making history relevant for contemporary audiences.”

Do you know a dynamic emerging professional, helping lead the way for the future of museums?  Be sure to nominate them for the 2019 award for Emerging Professional of the Year! Learn more here.