The City is pleased to announce the El Paso Museum of Art (EPMA) has been selected as a finalist for the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.
“Being one of 29 finalists is a testament to the high-quality exhibitions and programming EPMA offers to El Paso and the surrounding region,” said Director of the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department Tracey Jerome. “This distinction is a credit to the professionalism and commitment EPMA staff shows to consistently providing an excellent experience for everyone who walks through our doors.”
The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to their communities and is awarded each year by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
Since its founding in 1959, the museum has been a major cultural resource for West Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico. The museum’s permanent collection focuses on American, European, and Mexican artwork including the second largest collection of Retablos in the world.
The EPMA provides opportunities to local and regional artists to show their work through programs like the Transborder Biennial.
Through special programming and the art school, the museum provides hands-on art experiences to visitors of different ages and abilities. It is the only accredited art museum within a 200-mile radius and welcomes nearly 100,000 visitors each year. General admission, school tours, and nearly all educational programming is free.
“EPMA’s location on the border provides us an opportunity to create a multicultural dialogue using our permanent collection and traveling exhibitions as a starting point. This focus has encouraged us as museum professionals to look at new ways to engage our audiences through programming and educational opportunities,” said El Paso Museum of Art Director Dr. Victoria Ramirez.
For the past 24 years, the award has celebrated 182 institutions that demonstrated extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service. The EPMA was nominated for the National Medal by U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke.
“The 29 National Medal finalists showcase the tremendous ability of libraries and museums to serve as vital community resources,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “The Institute of Museum and Library Services is honored to recognize these leading institutions. We congratulate them on the work they are doing across the United States.”
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums and related organizations. According to their website, their mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement.
Institute of Museum and Library Services’ grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov .