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Minnesota Children’s Museum Named a Finalist for National Medal for Museum and Library Service

Minnesota Children’s Museum has the opportunity to be the first museum in the state to win prestigious honor


Minnesota Children’s Museum has won recognition as a finalist for the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to their communities. For 25 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families and communities.

“The 30 National Medal finalists showcase the tremendous ability of libraries and museums to serve as vital community resources,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “The Institute of Museum and Library Services is honored to recognize these leading institutions. We congratulate them on the work they are doing across the United States.”

This is the second time Minnesota Children’s Museum has been named a finalist, the first time coming in 2013. No other museum in Minnesota has been a finalist for this award — and none has ever won it.

“We are thrilled to be nominated for this prestigious award,” said Dianne Krizan, president of Minnesota Children’s Museum. “We’re honored to be recognized for the impact our mission and work – to spark all children’s learning through play – has on our great community.”

In nomination materials, the museum cited its impact in providing playful learning experiences for more than 500,000 visitors per year at locations in St. Paul and Rochester. In addition, the museum called out its Play for All programs, which provide free and reduced-price admission to more than 100,000 visitors each year and ensure that all families can access museum experience regardless of their income.

National Medal winners will be announced later this spring. Representatives from winning institutions will be honored for their extraordinary contributions at the National Medal Ceremony on June 12 in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter were among those who wrote letters supporting the museum’s nomination.

“Minnesota Children’s Museum provides families in our community a welcoming and safe space to play, serving more than 500,000 visitors each year with high-quality, interactive play experiences,” Mayor Carter wrote in his nomination letter.

To see the full list of finalists and learn more about the National Medal, visit the IMLS website.

Read the official press release.

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