OMA Award Spotlight - Ohio History Connection

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 Best Community Partnership over $500,000.


Ohio History Connection - Bhutanese-Nepali Neighbors: Photographs by Tariq Tarey

Bhutanese-Nepali Neighbors: Photographs by Tariq Tarey demonstrates that, sometimes, the power of our work rests as much in the process, as it does the final results. 

The exhibit features 27 photographs  and explores the stories of Ohio’s largest current-day refugee community – about 20,000 Bhutanese-Nepali people who now live in central Ohio after leaving their native Bhutan and living for as long as 20 years in temporary refugee camps in Nepal.

Utilizing both photography and poetry, this project required a level of relationship- and trust-building that has influenced the way the History Connection approaches all of its work and explores core questions of identity – most especially, what it means to be an Ohioan.

In celebrating this community of new Americans in Columbus, the History Connection used this exhibit to help visitors understand the thriving refugee community in central Ohio and build empathy and understanding for a group of people that they may not have cared about prior to their visit.

As with all of the diverse communities in our great state, the story of the Columbus Bhutanese-Nepali community is part of the greater Ohio story. As one reviewer noted, “It seems this experience helped a group that had been displaced for so long feel like it’s okay to call this new place home.”

Since receiving the OMA Best Community Partnership award, Bhutanese-Nepali Neighbors: Photographs by Tariq Tarey was also nominated for the Greater Columbus Arts Council Art Makes Life award, and was featured at the awards ceremony along with three other local organizations.


Did your museum have an impactful partnership during the 2018 season? Be sure to nominate it for the 2018 award for Best Community Partnership! Learn more here.