OMA Award Spotlight - Chris Rowlands

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 2017 OMA Award of Achievement winners throughout the month with our OMA Award Spotlight. 

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 award winners! 

Today we'll be featuring our winner for the 2017 award for Professional of the Year.


Chris Rowlands

Chris Rowlands’ distinguished and accomplished career has spanned 31 years, utilizing his talents as a naturalist, singer, songwriter, painter, and puppeteer to educate and inspire people of all ages on nature, art, and conservation.

In his current capacity as Outreach Environmental Educator at Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm, Chris brings his innovative and interdisciplinary environmental education programs to more than 30,000 students, teachers and parents each year through public performances and in-school artist residencies.

Chris skillfully combines his many artistic and performance talents to create award-winning shows and pieces of art that that teach lifelong lessons about the relationship between the environment and conservation. Rather than merely performing for students and parents, he also engages them in projects in which they create their own paintings and music celebrating nature, and guides their public performances as a means of engaging others in the community.

Mr. Rowlands’ long history of highly innovative and effective community outreach epitomizes his engagement to the public, and his dedication to reaching as wide of an audience as possible.

As one elementary Principal wrote, “To see Chris’ influence on our next generation, creating an excitement for the arts, history, science and nature, is to know that we will continue to encourage patronage and excitement in Ohio’s museums for years to come.”


Do you know someone who exudes outstanding leadership and professionalism, whose work leads to the continual growth and development of your organization?  Be sure to nominate them for the 2018 award for Professional of the Year! Learn more here.