Tuesday, July 13, 2021
12:00 pm to 1:30 pm Eastern Time
In a uniquely challenging year, six museums have been recognized by the American Alliance of Museums’ Environment and Climate Network as exemplars in the field of museum sustainability. The 2021 Sustainability Excellence Awards committee received applications from museums across the country dedicated to advancing thoughtful museum practice while operating under the additional constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year the Environment and Climate Network invites you to a two part series with our winners. Come hear the thought processes, lessons learned, and encouraging takeaways from museums of all scopes and sizes leading the industry to a more sustainable future!
Louisiana Children’s Museum
Julia Bland, CEO of Louisiana Children’s Museum
Richard Franko, Partner and Museum Design Practice Leader for Mithun
The Louisiana Children’s Museum’s award is in recognition of the museum’s integration of programming and education into the building design, and for the attention paid to post-occupancy staff feedback. Sustainability and environmental education are bedrock to programming, teaching resilience, and living “in” the environment. The museum has been designed with excellent Passive Features and commendable stormwater strategy resulting in performance ratings 25% below the energy model estimates. The jury felt the Museum demonstrates how much can be achieved on a limited budget and displays that with imagination, sustainable designs and museums can create great public experiences.
Madison Children’s Museum
Brenda Baker, Director of Exhibits
Nadia Niggli, Senior Exhibits Designer
The Madison Children’s Museum’s whimsical and immersive approach to waste management and sustainability mindsets receives the exhibits award. The partnership between the Madison Children’s Museum and the Dane County Department of Waste and Renewables resulted in a traveling exhibit housed in a 27-foot long repurposed cargo trailer powered by solar panels and created with 90% of materials reclaimed from the Dane County waste stream. The exhibit explores historical waste creation and disposal, social media’s relationship to consumer behavior, and the social inequity of air and water quality. Interactive play experiences, imaginative thought exercises, and an evolution of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle into Rethink, Refuse, Reimagine allows visitors of all ages to explore lifestyle changes in a space embodying the spirit of sustainability.
Daryl Richard Lawrence M.S. Ed., Facilities Manager
The Bell Museum has been awarded an honorable mention for using the pandemic-caused disruption to improve museum operations and adopt a holistic approach to sustainability. By leveraging the resources of its university partner, cleaning protocols, adjustments to air circulation, and monitoring of energy consumption were all improved to the benefit of its staff, visitors, and community. Waste management and pest control improvements are replicable examples for institutions of any size in the museum field.
The Environment and Climate Network also extends an invitation to the second part of this series on August 17th, 2021 with the Museum of Modern Art, the St. Louis Green Business Challenge through the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Burke Museum in Seattle, WA. Click here to register for the second part of this series.
The statements and opinions expressed by panelists, hosts, attendees, or other participants of this event are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor are endorsed by, the American Alliance of Museums.