VAM Conservation Grant Winners Announced

Posted on Jan 10, 2018
The Virginia Association of Museums (VAM) is pleased to announce the Virginia’s Top 10

Endangered Artifacts for 2017 includes the following honorees: African American Historical Society of Portsmouth (Portsmouth, Virginia); Birthplace of Country Music (Bristol, Virginia); Blacksburg Museum and Cultural Foundation (Blacksburg, Virginia); Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Foundation and Museum (Wytheville, Virginia); Historic Sandusky Foundation (Lynchburg, Virginia); Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (Winchester, Virginia); National D-Day Memorial Foundation (Bedford, Virginia); Office of Historic Alexandria-Alexandria Archaeology Museum (Alexandria, Virginia); Prince William County Historic Preservation (Dumfries, Virginia); and Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library (Staunton, Virginia).

Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts 2017

Ten unique artifacts from across the state and spanning Virginia’s extensive history from the 1700s to 20th century were chosen following a thorough review process by an independent selection committee of collections professionals from partner organizations Library of Virginia, Preservation Virginia, Virginia Conservation Association, and Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

Thanks to a generous donation from the Blandford Rees Foundation, this renowned program will for the first time provide conservation awards totaling nearly $19,000 to the honorees, which will be granted by the selection committee or outcome of the online public voting competition taking place January 15-24, 2018.

We invite you to help bestow $9,000 of the conservation awards by voting for your favorite endangered artifact at www.vatop10artifacts.org. The two artifacts receiving the most votes will be recognized as the People’s Choice Awards and receive $5,000 and $4,000 respectfully to conserve their artifacts and care for its continued preservation.

Says Jennifer Thomas, VAM’s executive director, “We’re grateful for the opportunity to take our program to the next level during our milestone 50th Anniversary year and further our mission of helping the museum community succeed. This year’s selected artifacts exemplify the scope and impact of history found across the Commonwealth of Virginia. From an excavated 18th century merchant ship to a rare radio recording by Ralph and Carter Stanley, some items shed light on the resilience and grace of the human spirit, while others remind us that issues such as women’s rights and voter disenfranchisement are not new. In whole, the artifacts bring history to life. And we are proud that our Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program showcases the important work that collecting institutions undertake every day to care for our collective treasures.”

Those wishing to make a lasting impact on preserving Virginia’s history are encouraged to vote for their favorite artifacts during the Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts online public voting competition happening January 15 and January 24 at midnight. Vote daily at www.vatop10artifacts.org.

The People’s Choice Awards recipients and remaining honorees will be recognized during a special reception at the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, Virginia on February 21, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. following Virginia Museums Advocacy Day at the General Assembly. They will additionally be acknowledged at VAM’s Statewide Annual Conference on March 12, 2018 during an awards luncheon to be held at the Hilton Norfolk The Main in Norfolk, Virginia.

Program Background: Over the past six years, the Virginia Association of Museums has successfully promoted awareness of collections care and the efforts of museums, libraries, archives, and historic sites across the Commonwealth of Virginia and District of Columbia to care for their cultural and historical treasures, which is an expensive and time-consuming effort. In fact, over a 150 organizations have benefited from participating and the spotlight that the program has provided has generated extensive publicity, new supporters and volunteers, and access to funding to conserve and preserve their artifacts.

Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts is a project of the Virginia Association of Museums and was originally funded through an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Connecting to Collections Statewide Implementation Grant. Due to its success, the program has been replicated in other states and recognized as one of the most successful outcomes of the Connecting to Collections grant program.

Information about past honorees can be found online at VAM’s website.

About: The Virginia Association of Museums is a 501(c)3 organization that provides advocacy, professional development, and support to all Virginia and Washington, DC museums. As a statewide network serving the museum community, the association currently includes 2,500 members such as individuals, businesses, and member organizations that range from historic houses and battlefields, to art museums and zoos.