The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced that The Wild Center is among 30 finalists for the 2022 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The Wild Center is one of two institutions in New York to be selected as a finalist for this award. Children’s Museum of Manhattan is also a finalist.
“We are deeply honored to be selected as a finalist for the IMLS National Medal,” said Wild Center Executive Director Stephanie Ratcliffe. “This recognition is validation of the tireless work everyone at The Wild Center has done to achieve our mission of igniting a passion for our natural world – particularly in light of the challenges presented over the past few years. To better serve our community, we have added digital programs further enriching opportunities for people of all ages to experience our exhibits, animal ambassadors and the incredible Adirondack region. Most importantly we created opportunities, including Wild Lights – a nighttime family fun event, for people to get outside – together – reconnecting with the joy of nature and community. We believe that people care for what they love. This selection as finalist inspires us to continue our work to connect people to the natural world around them – which is more important now than ever.”
The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that demonstrate significant impact in their communities. For more than 25 years, the award has honored institutions that demonstrate excellence in service to their communities.
“So many museums, so many libraries have done such good work over the last two very difficult years. We are proud to present the 30 finalists for the IMLS National Medal,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “Their work is emblematic of the response of the library and museum worlds to simultaneously fulfilling their mission and serving their communities.”
“As Board Chair, I’m so very proud that The Wild Center has been selected as a finalist for the IMLS National Medal in recognition of its work connecting people with the natural world,” added Karen Thomas, Chair of The Wild Center Board of Trustees. “The staff at The Wild Center are dedicated, creative, innovative and passionate about their work and their community. The innovation demonstrated during the pandemic of pivoting to digital in our Youth Climate Program and our daily programming, and successfully redesigning our on-site experience for safe operations was proof that we maintained our mission despite unprecedented conditions. The Wild Center is a respite for our rural community in good times and in the face of adversity–it is a place to recharge and renew. As a science museum working on climate change education, we understand the profound responsibility–as well as the opportunity and trust–that museums have in these challenging times. This nomination is the ultimate recognition of that work.”
To celebrate this honor, IMLS is encouraging The Wild Center’s community members to share stories, memories, pictures, and videos on social media using the #ShareYourStory and #IMLSmedals hashtags, and engage with IMLS on Facebook and Twitter. For more information, please visit the IMLS website.
National Medal winners will be announced in early June. Representatives from winning institutions will be honored for their extraordinary contributions during a virtual National Medal Ceremony this summer.
To see the full list of finalists and learn more about the National Medal, visit the IMLS website.
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.