Indianapolis Museum of Art wins national honor

The Indianapolis Museum of Art will receive the top prize for public service in its field, the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services announced today.

The IMA is one of 10 institutions across the country that will receive the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

In bestowing the award, the institute cited the IMA’s free admission policy and “Viewfinders,” a program that serves 9,000 third-graders a year from Indianapolis and Washington Township public schools.

“Every day, the Indianapolis Museum of Art makes a real difference in their community,” Director Ann-Imelda M. Radice said in a prepared statement. “Their exemplary programs respond to community challenges, positively impact people’s lives, and serve as models for the nation’s museums.”

Sen. Richard Lugar nominated the IMA for the award. “The IMA provides the Indianapolis community with valuable arts programming, education and many special exhibitions through the exploration of art, design and the natural environment,” Lugar said in a prepared statement. “It is truly a treasure in Indianapolis and very deserving of this prestigious honor.”

The IMA will receive the medal and $10,000 at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. “Since 1883, the IMA has shared the best of the world’s creativity with the people of Indiana and our visitors from around the world,” Museum CEO Maxwell Anderson said. “More than 125 years on, our mission has remained profoundly relevant to our community through multiple initiatives putting our mission into action.”

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