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History Center Receives Top National Award for Service to Community

Celebrate our IMLS medal

Institute of Museum and Library Services taps Orlando museum for 2019 National Medal

The Orange County Regional History Center has been named one of ten recipients of the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service — the highest honor given to museums and libraries across the nation.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington, D.C., has awarded national medals for 25 years to celebrate institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities.

“We’re especially honored to receive this award because it honors community service and recognizes that the History Center’s programs make a real difference in the lives of Central Floridians,” said the museum’s director, Michael Perkins.

The History Center’s record of community service involves its response to the tragedy at the Pulse Nightclub in June 2016 and the leadership role staff have played nationally in helping other museums respond to such events, as well as numerous partnerships and service to community groups and individuals.

The museum will welcome the public with free admission on Saturday, May 25, to celebrate the award, Perkins said.

The History Center’s National Medal continues significant recognition for Orange County cultural institutions. Last year, the Orange County Library System received the 2018 National Medal for Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

“These national honors for the History Center and the Library System underscore the impact that the emerging downtown cultural corridor in Orlando has on our community,” said Perkins. “The National Medal also validates the History Center’s plans to renovate and redesign our permanent exhibitions — a project that’s set to begin in late 2019 and is designed to ensure an even more accessible, educational, and enjoyable museum.”

Renovation plans call for the addition of more artifacts, more inclusive Central Florida history, and more opportunities for interaction and engagement, all in a contemporary format.

Representatives from the History Center and other National Medal recipients will be honored for their extraordinary contributions at a June 12 ceremony in Washington, D.C.

To see the full list of National Medal recipients and learn more about the National Medal, visit the IMLS website.