OMA Award Spotlight - Little Buckeye Children's Museum

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 2019 OMA Award of Achievement winners throughout the month with our OMA Award Spotlight. We are featuring these Award Winner Spotlights 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 2019 award winners! 

Today, we'll be featuring our winner for the 2019 award for Best Community Partnership under $500,000.

Little Buckeye Children's Museum - Imagination District 

In 2019, Little Buckeye Children’s Museum and the Renaissance Performing Arts Association partnered together to launch a joint capital campaign for the creation of the Imagination District in downtown Mansfield.

This Imagination District will provide multiple arts and education experiences – with a new 15,000 square foot performance space and recording studio; a 30,000 square foot facility dedicated to the new Little Buckeye Children’s Museum; a 15,000 square foot outdoor plaza for food trucks, live performances, family programming and outdoor seating; as well as endless opportunities for collaborative youth programming.

These two organizations realized the importance of working together to leverage their strengths– especially in a small town where everyone is asking the same donors for donations. Little Buckeye and RPAA entered into a unique collaborative project, with two completely separate nonprofit organizations entering into one joint capital campaign and remaining separate entities after the conclusion of the campaign.

Together, these two nonprofits sought to raise $6 million to establish the Imagination District.

By its completion, it is estimated the Imagination District will serve nearly 220,000 people, provide as many as 15 full-time and 25 part-time jobs, and will have a total economic impact in the community of $7.7 million. As of January 2020, The Imagination District has reached 81% of its capital campaign, and can boast 100% participation from both organization’s boards and staff.

The Imagination District represents an innovative and exciting way to create a multi-institutional response to a community's needs.  By partnering so closely, both the Little Buckeye Children's Museum and the Renaissance Performing Arts Association are extending their abilities to provide for the Mansfield community, and have greatly increased both organizations' institutional capacity. 

Did your museum have an innovative and impactful collaboration during the 2020 season? Be sure to nominate it for the 2020 award for Best Community Partnership! Learn more here.


Fred Boll, Executive Director, Accepts the Award During the OMA 2020 Virtual Awards Ceremony

One of the fun features of OMA's 2020 Virtual Awards Ceremony was being able to recognize our honorees "accepting" their award via video message. See below for the Little Buckeye Children’s Museum award acceptance video.

Little Buckeye Children’s Museum OMA 2019 Award Acceptance Video

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