The most eminent of museum education awarded at the 15th National Museum Education Year Opening

Excellence in Museum Education, and Excellent Museum Educator Award for Lifetime Achievement –  regarded to be the most prestigious acknowledgments of Hungarian museum education ever since it was established in 2003 – were handed over by Dr. Annamária Vígh, head of Public Collections Division, Ministry for Human Capacities (EMMI) and by Dr. Miklós Cseri, director general of Skanzen at the 15th National Museum Education Year Opening, on 25th 2017.

The award always goes to museums having achieved outstanding performance in the area of museum knowledge transfer with their museum education programmes or initiations in the previous year. The awards are handed over every year at the National Museum Education Year Opening, which is also the opening event of Autumn Festival of Museums. Three museums were awarded the prize Excellence in Museum Education, and two museums received a Certificate of Merit at the ceremonial event organised by Museum Education and Methodology Centre and Hungarian Open Air Museum.

Móra Ferenc Museum’s project titled “Touch of the past” received Excellence in Museum Education award, which is not merely a tactile exhibition and education programme linked to it, but it also provides a memorial experience for the blind and the partially sighted, who can get closer to the 19th century peasant lifestyle through hearing, touching and smelling.

The initiation of the Museum of Fine Art, National Gallery titled “Switch on” also received Excellence in Museum Education award, the aim of which is to inspire young people over half a year on a weekly basis. The students can share their thoughts and feelings about works of art, and create attractive programmes especially for their own age group.

The Sopron Museum’ Macskakő (cobblestone) Children’s Museum’s permanent exhibition was also awarded for its unique image of the future of every museum in the present day museum: it fulfils the function of knowledge transfer, but at the same time, it also takes on the role of an active community and free time space.

The professional jury awarded a Certificate of Merit to a complex programme providing weekly museum education activities closely connected to the kindergarten education programme. The winning programme titled “Where tales become reality – wandering in the past and present” is implemented by the Local History Museum, Cultural Centre of Kunszentmárton. The programme focuses on elements of heritage and tradition which develops binding to the home country, and also useful in everyday life. The programme can be an inspiration for other museums, and easily adaptable for integrated institutions.

The Town relay race and local history competition programme of the Friends of Museums Society in Vas won a Certificate of Merit, and a special prize awarded by the Association of Country Museums (MVMSZ).  The programme expands and reinterprets the role of the organisation helping the museum, and provides colourful, experiential knowledge transfer by live interpretation and active programme in the town area.

The Excellent Museum Educator Award for outstanding individual achievement established by the Hungarian Open Air Museum in 2013 is also handed over at the National Museum Education Year Opening. The award is an illustrious acknowledgement of professionals having been in the field for decades with outstanding lifetime achievements, and are also the authors of publications, hold lectures and help the methodological renewal of museum education in Hungary.

It was a particularly delightful occasion for the Hungarian Open Air Museum that one if its founder colleagues and widely appreciated professional received the lifetime achievement award in 2017. Mária Káldy worked for the museum from 1974, and led the public culture activities of the museum for 30 years, she was director of Museum Education and Methodology Centre from 2007 to 2016. She was one of the creators of the concept of visitor friendly museum, and she is still a dedicated supporter of its implementation up to the present. He has received numerous acknowledgments, like Móra Ferenc Prize in 1998, Tree of Life Prize in 2007, Excellence in Museum Education together with her team in 2010, and the Knight’s Cross award of the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic. The laudation linked to Mária Káldy’s Excellent Museum Educator Award for outstanding lifetime achievement can be read here.

After the ceremony, in the conference titled “It is not utopia – development for the museum of the future”, the participants could have an insight into the results to date and also the ones to achieve in the future by the museum component of the project “Museum and library development for everyone” EFOP 3.3.3 VEKOP-16-2016-00001.

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