OMA Award Spotlight - Toledo Museum of Art

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 Best Education and Outreach over $500,000.

Toledo Museum of Art - Teen Apprentice Program

Teen programs are a given in many museums, but most focus on the museum as the center of the program. The Teen Apprentice program was planned to center on the teens and their needs, using the museum as a tool to help develop future community leaders.

Established in 2015, the Toledo Museum of Art’s Teen Apprentice Program invites youth into the museum to learn more about museum careers, experience Toledo’s vibrant arts community, and collaborate with their peers and museum staff to design quarterly events.

The program includes “introduction to the museum” sessions in the fall and twice-a-month session in the spring where staff from various museum departments share presentations about their roles at TMA and engage the teens in hands-on experience related to the work done by the department. The program concludes with the opportunity for summer employment at the museum.

Teen Apprentices have created youth-focused events known as (Y)our Nights, inclusive parties that invite area teens to experience the museum in their own way – like DJs in the galleries, food, prizes, and opportunities to meet exhibit artists. The Teen Apprentices also design a marketing plan including brand identity, social media posts, and grass-roots marketing initiatives to promote the events.

In the words of one former Teen Apprentice (and current Graphic Design Intern at TMA), “I’ve grown a lot – specifically professionally…because it has been a hands-on learning experience that is setting me up for my career. I’ve grown a lot personally in my understanding of the community here and the importance of being involved. I didn’t appreciate the museum and Toledo in general, before being a Teen Apprentice. The museum is a huge part of my life now.”

Did your museum have an innovative and impactful education or outreach program during the 2019 season? Be sure to nominate it for the 2019 award for Best Education and Outreach Partnership! Learn more here.