Awards and Competitions

In This Section

MUSE Award Categories

There are 14 categories of MUSE awards. One must be selected for each application you submit. The descriptions below will help you determine which category best suits the program you are nominating. Individual Gold, Silver, Bronze, and one or more Honorable Mention prizes may be awarded in each category depending on jury scoring and the quantity and quality of entries in each category.

The Jim Blackaby Memorial Award is a special jury prize optionally granted to an entry selected for its overall achievement as a media or technology-focused museum program.

MUSE Award Categories

Audio Experiences

Audio materials developed to compliment a Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (GLAM) program or to stand alone and delivered in a site-specific context. (See Podcast category for non-site-specific, serialized programs). Content may include guided tours, musical accompaniments, exhibition soundscapes, and more. All modes of delivery are accepted.

Digital Communities

Online social spaces, moderated and hosted by a GLAM, that offer a virtual space for people to gather around a common experience, exhibition, or interest. Entries might include blogs, badging, social media campaigns/projects, and micro-sites created for ongoing community engagement. These sites can target either a broad-based or niche audience and contribute to the process of social networking.

Education and Outreach

Projects that are primarily composed of educational content for children or adults, resources for educators/teachers, “distance learning” courses, pedagogical training tools, or outreach to the community.

Games and Augmented Reality

Challenging interactive activities that educate, entertain, and may involve strategy, competing, or role playing defined by rules and linked to a specific outcome. Games can be online, peer-to-peer, or mobile. Augmented Reality entries merge the real world environment with digital imagery and interfaces via QR codes, cameras, Tag, 3D, VR, and more. Please attach supporting media to your application that demonstrates the navigation and user experience.

Interactive Kiosks

A single interactive kiosk in a gallery, visitor center, or other public space that offers a unique, supportive, or alternative view of museum information. In your application, please provide a description or analysis of visitor experience (with data and evidence), visualization of objects, application of sounds, compliance with universal design guidelines, and effective use of technology, if applicable.

Interpretive Interactive Installations

Multiple kiosks or full gallery installations requiring input from visitors to accommodate an educational and entertaining experience. Entries can be interpretive, and come in various forms such as interactive video walls, projection‐based installations, and more. In your application, please provide a description or analysis of visitor experience (with data and evidence), visualization of objects, application of sounds, compliance with universal design guidelines, and effective use of technology, if applicable.

Mobile Applications

Mobile applications that extend the GLAM experience onto mobile devices including smartphones and tablets. Apps can include but are not limited to custom or repurposed content, QR‐codes, integration with kiosks or websites, GPS technology, outdoor interactive signage, and other environmental marketing. (Please note: submissions should not include games, augmented reality programs, or non‐mobile applications as those are covered in separate categories.)

Multimedia Installations

Site-specific media installations in public spaces such as exhibits and educational or visitor centers that use a variety of media and techniques such as sound, video, photography, and other media presentation technologies. Entries can be interpretive and come in various forms such as surround-sound video projections, responsive architecture, or live performances and do not require interactivity.

Online Presence

Websites, online collections, image databases, and exhibitions that present and interpret GLAM collections and themes, providing a rich and meaningful virtual experience. Projects should demonstrate effective use of multiple media formats and innovative ways of complementing and/or substituting for physical exhibitions or experiences.

Open Culture

Entries are projects created by or for GLAMS celebrating the growing corpus of innovative projects created as part of the open culture movement. Projects can include both published open data, open source, or open content resources, as well as those relying on open resources as a primary source of infrastructure or content. Internal museum resources and public program and resource innovations are of equal interest. Projects must demonstrate how open data, code, and/or content was created, used and/or consumed.

This award can be submitted by anyone working with open culture materials in the GLAM environment. We encourage anyone to submit projects that contribute to our larger mission to engage and educate our community and to allow our repositories of global cultural heritage to be more accessible and equitable in service to user discovery and reuse.


Serialized audio programs delivered in a non-site-specific context such as documentaries, interviews, news, and information programs, and more. (See Audio Experiences category for site-specific, non-serialized audio programs) All modes of delivery are accepted.

Public Outreach

Unique approaches showcasing GLAM initiatives for the press, marketing purposes, and donor development pieces. Could include email newsletters, viral marketing campaigns, membership drives, fundraising videos, etc. In your application, please provide information on outcomes from the effort (e.g., increases in membership, number of constituents reached, etc.)

Video, Film and Computer Animation

Entries are linear and nonlinear narratives in video format. This includes documentaries, interviews, original cartoons, motion graphics, animations, and stop motion. Individual episodes or entire series may be entered.

Honeysett and Din Student Award

Entries include student works that meet the criteria for any of the listed categories. Student entries can include finished projects created for GLAMs or other educational institutions as well as class projects, prototypes, or concepts.

  • Entries must include a letter from faculty (sponsor, mentor, GLAM) sent to the Muse Chair. The letter that you need from a faculty member has to verify that the project you are submitting was created while you are/were a student in university.
  • Students can send 3 entries, one per category.
  • Universities/Sponsors can send 6 entries.
  • Universities/Sponsors may submit projects on behalf of their students, but must secure student permission prior to sending materials. Entry must include a letter from the student sent to the Muse Chair.
  • Student or Sponsor may complete online registration for projects submitted.


Individual students or groups of students are eligible to submit a project to this category if enrolled in an accredited art/humanities/science/museum related degree program, or a recent graduate from undergraduate/Masters/PhD programs within the last 12 months. (Recent graduates may only submit projects produced as a student.) Entries may also be submitted by universities or museums if the project is completely produced by students as part of their coursework.

MUSE Special Jury Award

Jim Blackaby Memorial Award

Introduced in 2004, the Jim Blackaby Ingenuity Award recognizes a project that exemplifies the power of creative imagination in the use of media and technology — a project that has a powerful effect on its audience and stands above the others in inventiveness and quality.

Jim Blackaby, a board member of the Media and Technology Program Network during its formative period in the 1990s, influenced the museum world with his innovative work in information services and Internet strategies during the early years of digital media integration within museums. Conceived in his memory, this award is granted to an organization selected from a pool of nominees put forward by MUSE Award Juries. It is awarded only if a single program rises to met the criteria set forth by the award’s intent.

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