Museum receives Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities Award

Courtesy photo: The Children’s Museum of South Dakota accepted the South Dakota Humanities Council Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities Award at the first-ever virtual Festival of Books on Oct. 3.

BROOKINGS – The Children’s Museum of South Dakota accepted the South Dakota Humanities Council Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities Award at the first-ever virtual Festival of Books on Oct. 3.

Winners are selected based on their outstanding commitment to scholarly and cultural advocacy for the humanities in South Dakota. The museum received the award in the “organization” category alongside Daria Bossman in the “librarian” category, and Nancy Wehrkamp in the “individual” category. 

The museum partnered with the South Dakota Humanities Council at its premier event, the Festival of Books. The Young Readers Festival, designed specifically for children, took place at the Children’s Museum of South Dakota on three different occasions, 2014, 2016, and 2018.

“The Young Readers Festival was one of the first major projects that I helped with when starting at the Museum in 2014,” Associate Director Mike Mogard said. “I remember author Kate DiCamillo climbing our two-story cloud climber and playing on our prairie. That day was symbolic of exactly what we aim to do at the Children’s Museum: spark imagination for children and grown-ups.”

By providing in-kind donations of space, staff and volunteers, the museum has helped contribute toward the success of the festival, offering a platform to 74 authors and reaching 1,700 children.

The South Dakota Humanities Council has partnered with the museum from the very beginning 10 years ago, when with a Humanities Council grant they created the Lakota Hoop Dancer video featuring Dallas Chief Eagle in the “Our Place on the Prairie” exhibit.

The museum has also been a longtime supporter of the humanities by promoting learning for children of all ages and abilities though interactive, informal, exhibits and programming. From the “Celebrate Children’s Books and Literacy” traveling exhibit to the more than 550 books on the museum floor.

“We are honored and thankful to be a partner alongside of the South Dakota Humanities Council,” Mogard said. “We look forward to continued collaborations that will have a lasting impact on the people of our state.” 

The 2020 Young Readers Festival is available virtually until Oct. 31.

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