Individual Award of Excellence: Anthony D. Fusco, Jr.
Tony has been Education Coordinator at the Arizona Jewish Historical Society since 2019, with responsibility for both museum exhibitions and educational programs, including live seminars programs, documentary films, and book discussions. He has also helped with acquiring Holocaust-related items, photographs, documents, and artifacts pertaining to survivors and their connection to the darkest days of human history, connected to local Arizonians. By creating partnerships and collaborations with others, including Arizona State University, Arizona Humanities, AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute, the Irish Cultural Center, and the Arizona Historical Society, Tony has provided a hands-on approach, inspiring visitors to learn from the Holocaust, to become upstanders, and to work toward a world without hatred.
Institutional Award of Excellence: Tucson Presidio Trust (Presidio San Agustin del Tucson Museum)
Despite the challenges of COVID, the Presidio Museum has enjoyed significant growth coupled with several positive developments over the last few years. As an outdoor museum they were able to provide programming for the public, including private field trips and tours for school children, and also developed traveling program kits they called "Portable Presidio". Recently they completed a new exhibit, the Early People's Park, created through a strong working relationship with the Tohono O'odham Historic Preservation Office and Cultural Preservation Committee, along with Archaeology Southwest. In addition to a wealth of walking tours, on subjects ranging from individual historic neighborhoods to public art and murals to restaurants, the Tucson Presidio Trust is now providing interpretive programming for families and school-children at the Fort Lowell Museum. This new arrangement allows the Trust to improve the Fort Lowell Museum and re-activate it as a cultural resource for the East side, thus fulfilling its commitment to telling the full story of Tucson, and highlighting its dedication to inclusivity shown through its diverse and multi-representational programs and leadership.
Institutional Award of Excellence: Tempe History Museum
The Tempe History Museum has emerged from the pandemic with a strengthened commitment to inclusivity and making the past relevant to the present day. Two recent projects highlight this achievement. Their most recent exhibit, Guadalupe: Where Three Cultures Flourish, was created in partnership with the Guadalupe Historical Society, the Town of Guadalupe and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and tells the story of this indigenous community in a way that is widely accessible to the general public, highlighting the historic past, the deep roots and important contributions of the Yaqui people to the valley, and fostering an appreciation for the descendants and their heritage. Secondly, research conducted by museum staff was instrumental in allowing the City of Tempe to identify parks and streets named for 1920s Ku Klux Klan members, and choose new names to honor a group of diverse individuals who were important in Tempe history for the city-wide Restorative Social Justice Renaming Project.
Community Service Award: Central Arizona Museum Association (CAMA)
For almost 20 years, the Central Arizona Museum Association has been instrumental in advocating for and assisting the more than 50 museums in Pima, Maricopa, Gila and Yavapai counties. It serves as a first source of professional development and networking for many of the smaller museums in the Phoenix area, with monthly meetings introduce members to the extraordinary range of museums that populate the area, as well as enhancing their skills and knowledge. Knowing that they were truly among peers, museum staff, both paid and unpaid, feel free to share their experiences and find new resources. CAMA has also played an important role in helping young, up-and-coming museum professionals, by providing opportunities for networking beyond meetings and training, as well as offering scholarships for further professional development.
Community Service Award: Bill Pitman and the Eloy Chamber of Commerce
The unexpected passing of Dick Myers in 2021 left an enormous gap in the Eloy community, affecting his life-long project, the Santa Cruz Valley Historical Museum. Into that space stepped Bill Pitman and the Eloy Chamber of Commerce, seizing the opportunity to not only preserve both organizations, but to strengthen them through positive initiatives. Serving as President of the Museum Board, Mr. Pitman inspired the organizations to take on an aggressive collections management strategy and gallery renovation. Simultaneously, he created a plan to transfer operations over to the Eloy Chamber of Commerce. Recognizing the value of area’s history, the Chamber immediately took steps to manage their new resources, and reestablish ties with the community, museum constituents, and the Myers’ family. In January 2023, under the leadership of the Eloy Chamber of Commerce, the Sunland Visitor Center and Santa Cruz Valley Historical Museum reopened fully, launching the newly renovated gallery.
Community Service Award: Sue Williams
Sue has volunteered in her over 20 years in Sedona in a variety of ways, including at the Sedona Heritage Museum as a docent. When the Museum Shop’s volunteer manager moved away, Sue stepped into that role willingly and enthusiastically, and made the position and the shop her domain. She made many improvements in both process and product, making a critical difference in the museum’s finances, allowing the Museum to expand its ability to invest in exhibits, technology upgrades, and additional paid staff time to support and implement programs. Sue willingly learned an entire new industry and took on a time-consuming and critical, but sometimes under-appreciated, museum function. Sue researched the history the shop’s space as part of the Museum building using that information to further engage visitors and create welcoming place for the local community to shop throughout the year.
Roger Lidman Distinguished Service Award: Janeen Trevillyan
Perhaps the most succinct statement about her qualifications came from Al Comello, the current Board president: Janeen Trevillyan should be honored because she exemplifies the best in the world of small-town museum management, development and structure. Working as a volunteer for more than 25 years, Janeen has served the function of a professional executive director, guiding the development of the Jordan Family home into a museum, telling, not only the story of this early pioneer family,, but of the entire community. She created and managed hundreds of events, exhibits, facility improvements, staff development, and collections management. Most impressively, she has fostered a strong connection between the museum and the community. As a result, the museum has an active volunteer base of over 100 individuals, in a community of less than 10,000. During the pandemic, Janeen used her local connections to ensure that museum volunteers were well protected, setting up protocols that allowed visitors to enjoy the Museum safely. Her inspiring work goes well beyond, her local community. Janeen has been an active member of the Museum Association of Arizona, participating in local, regional and national conference and workshops, as well as organizing the local museums in the Verde Valley for both professional development and marketing campaigns.