The Western New York Association of Historical Agencies has announced that five awards will be presented to groups for excellence in the museum field in the 11-county WNY area, including two organizations in Niagara County.
The Town of Porter Historical Society is recognized with an award for exceptional exhibits for its work titled, "The Lewiston and Youngstown Frontier Railway Company." For this exhibit, the organization located a historic photograph of the 1895-1926 passenger service that operated between the villages of Lewiston and Youngstown. The Lewiston-Porter High School Art Department collaborated on the project, designing and painting a mural of the route, and a DVD is being prepared. Ann Marie Linnabery, assistant director of Niagara County History Center, nominated the exhibit for an award.
The organizational award of merit goes to the Niagara County History Center for the Penney Gallery and Resource Room. A gift of 5,000 objects of local interest by philanthropist Charles Rand Penney was the impetus to build this new 1,000 square foot mezzanine exhibition gallery. A separate space was repurposed within the Erie Canal Discovery Center for a museum-standard storage facility and research library.
The History Center raised just under $500,000 in financial support on this project. Volunteers and staff packed the 5,000 objects and moved them over the summer. The attraction has propelled the Discovery Center into a year-round tourist and research destination, attracting an expected 30,000 visitors per year. Doug Farley, director of development, nominated the History Center.
Other notable recipients include:
•The award for exceptional publications goes to The Buffalo Museum of Science for "Educator's Guide: Journeys Into Papua; Exploring the South Pacific," in connection with their exhibit of the same name.
•The award for exceptional programming is given to the Angelica Booster Citizens Inc., Angelica, for their tour of "Until the Day Dawn Cemetery," held Aug. 6 and 7. The program was titled "Civil War Remembered," and observed the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
•The Individual Achievement Award goes to Langdon F. Clay, of Honeoye Falls, for his lifetime of service to the arts and history as the former director of Education at the Memorial Art Gallery, Academic Service at the University of Rochester; and as curator of the Honeoye Falls-Town of Mendon Historical Society, and other venues in the U.S. and Europe.
The awards will be presented at the WNYAHA annual meeting, on Saturday, Nov. 5, at 1 p.m., at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, 25 Nottingham Court.