Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing Competition

2023 AAM Awards Update: To better highlight and celebrate the museum professional community in all its diversity, we are in the process of redesigning an awards program that aligns with AAM’s strategic framework and centers equity and inclusion. As part of this process, this award program is temporarily on hold while we pilot a few updates to three other awards programs in 2023.

The annual Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing Competition is sponsored by the American Alliance of Museums’ Curators Committee (CurCom) in cooperation with EdCom and NAME and in partnership for the first time with the Museum and Exhibition Studies Graduate Program in the School of Art and Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

By highlighting the remarkable work of label writers and editors, the competition seeks to champion high-quality label writing and inspire museum professionals to produce and showcase their very best work. Each year, selected exhibition labels are featured at the Marketplace of Ideas during the AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo and in the competition’s online archive. The goal is to serve as a resource for museum professionals striving to write excellent label copy.

A panel of jurors with extensive label writing and editing expertise, including honorees from the previous year’s competition, volunteer their time to review and select the winning entries. The skill and commitment of the jurors are essential to making the release of the competition’s winners an exciting event each year.

2020 marks the first year of collaboration between CurCom and UIC. This unique partnership provides emerging museum professionals the opportunity to apply skills and theory presented in the classroom to a robust professional environment. In the role of competition project manager, graduate students gain leadership, communication, and management skills in the industry while engaging with label writers and other museum professionals from across the globe.

John Russick, Senior Vice President for the Chicago History Museum, has organized the competition since 2008. As is the tradition, each year a graduate student from the host program serves as project manager. This year the inaugural honor goes to Jojo Galvan. Jojo will manage the competition and set the precedent for years to follow.

Our panel of jurors for the 2021 competition includes Donna Braden, Daniel Spock, Brittany Hutchinson, and Adrienne Lalli Hills.

Questions can be emailed to Jojo Galvan at labelcmp@UIC.edu

Past Winners

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