The Montgomery Museum of Art and History garnered state-wide recognition this week as it received the 2023 Innovation Award presented by the Virginia Association of Museums (VAM).
The museum’s brand-new mental health series, “The Art of Happiness,” was awarded the Innovation Award for its contributions to Community Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion, and Audience Expansion. The Innovation Award is given each year at the annual VAM conference to one museum across the Commonwealth that demonstrates a commitment to use their platform as a trusted source of information to build relationships with its community and create long-term positive impacts for community members.
“The Art of Happiness” is an interactive series for adults that focuses on aspects of positive psychology and the role that art can play in our general happiness and well-being. The sessions are led by Shelby Wynn, a registered art therapist and licensed professional counselor. The series has included the use of visual music, mindfulness clay sculpture, coping with words to understand your thoughts and emotions, and Zentangles, a practice of mindful doodles that is useful when other coping skills are inaccessible.
Support from the LewisGale Hospital made this program series successful through a generous sponsorship, which enabled the museum to open up additional sessions. Montgomery Museum Executive Director, Casey Jenkins, traveled to the annual VAM conference on March 13 to receive this prestigious award.
“We are so proud of this new, innovative program series,” said Jenkins. “It was amazing to see the interest and demand from everyone, especially young people who participated in these free sessions.”
“This award validates our important charge and mission to be a community-wide museum for everyone to be a part of and we are very grateful for the generous support given to us by LewisGale Hospital Montgomery,” he added.
A press conference was held in the main lobby of LewisGale Hospital Montgomery the morning of Wednesday, March 22 to commemorate the award. Community members, hospital staff, and museum board members were in attendance. VAM representative John Long presented the award to Jenkins and the Montgomery Museum. Jenkins and Board President Jean Haskell gave brief remarks and the press conference closed with remarks by hospital CEO Lauren Dudley.
Submitted by the Montgomery Museum of Art and History
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