OMA Award Spotlight - National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

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, the Ohio Museums Association is highlighting our 2016 OMA Award of Achievement winners throughout the month with our OMA Award Spotlight. 

Click here to see our previous award spotlight articles.

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 2016 award for Best Exhibition over $500,000.

National Underground Railroad Museum – ENSLAVED: A Visual Story of Modern Day Slavery

ENSLAVED: A Visual Story of Modern Day Slavery helped the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center point a light on the hidden world of modern human slavery, and how we as the audience can combat it.

The exhibit featured a traveling exhibition from award-winning humanitarian photographer Lisa Kristine and augmented it with artifacts, stories, information and statistics on human trafficking nationally and locally.

This was combined with two structural installations mimicking a mine-shaft and an underwater space, creating a truly immersive experience.

The subject matter in ENSLAVED is particularly difficult, exposing the viewer to their own culpability in the systems of slavery worldwide and in their own backyard – but the exhibit also relates stories of hope and survival.

ENSLAVED presented viewers with a call to action, with materials empowering visitors to recognize the signs of trafficking, how to report the signs, how to support organizations that are working to ending the practice, and how to engage with elected officials in support of human trafficking legislation. 


Did your museum have a spectacular exhibit during the 2017 season? Be sure to nominate it for the 2017 award for Best Exhibition! Learn more here.