Social media has made news-sharing not only instantaneous, but also largely impersonal.
While I’m enamored of most twenty-first-century communication tools, there’s nothing quite like the joy and exhilaration that comes from sharing especially exciting news in person.
That’s just what Woodson Art Museum marketing and communications manager Amy Beck and I had the pleasure of doing on Monday, when we made ten face-to-face visits to share the just-released news that the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum is a winner of the Institute of Museum and Library Services 2017 National Medal for Museum Service.
Days of intense – perhaps you might say, clandestine – preparation led up to Monday’s 9:00 a.m. CDT lifting of the IMLS’ news-release embargo under which we operated for more than two weeks.
With the approved press release on its way to dozens of media outlets and email blasts sent to Woodson Art Museum members, volunteers, educators, friends, and family, the exciting news was shared with a click of the “send” button.
Effusive feedback was almost instantaneous. Well-wishers chimed in from near and far; ah, the benefits of the digital age.
The National Medal news warranted more – something more personal.
At 10:00 a.m., Amy and I took off, visiting City of Wausau, Marathon County, Wausau/Central Wisconsin Convention and Visitors Bureau, Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce, and officials and media partners, including Wisconsin Public Radio, Midwest Communications, Wausau Daily Herald, City Pages, and WSAW-Channel 7/WZAW Fox Wausau, WAOW-TV9, and sharing the news via phone with WJFW-Newswatch 12 in Rhinelander.
As these photos attest, those with whom we shared the news joined in our exuberance for the importance of the National Medal to our entire community.
One additional, very special visit took place on Tuesday, when Amy and I had the privilege and pleasure of spending time with Hunter Kelch and his mother, Sandi. Hunter was one of three community members, who wrote letters in support of the Woodson Art Museum’s nomination for the National Medal. Area blogger Hunter described an especially memorable visit to the Museum in August to celebrate his mother’s birthday. Hunter poignantly expressed his appreciation for the full extent of the Museum’s commitment to barrier-free access. Without that, neither Hunter’s full enjoyment of the Woodson Art Museum, nor his mother’s, would be possible. Read Hunter’s reflections on the National Medal in his blog post this week.
The National Medal for Museum Service acknowledges and celebrates the many and varied ways the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum impacts the lives of all who visit. We are grateful to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency, for this extraordinary recognition, which we, in turn, share with pride with every visitor . . . past, present, and future.
PS. Thanks to Woodson Art Museum graphic designer and photographer Rick Wunsch, who cheerfully joined me and Amy to document our community-member visits.