NEMPN Rewards IAIA With Best Museum Studies Program
Santa Fe, New Mexico, January 7, 2022 – The National Emerging Museum Professionals Network (NEMPN), a leading nonprofit organization, has launched its first-ever awards program to “recognize individuals and institutions who have made a exceptional service to emerging museum professionals. “For the Inaugural EMP Awards, the Department of Museum Studies at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) received the award for Best Museum Studies Program. For this category, three diploma / certificate programs Museum studies in the country were recognized for the diversity and inclusiveness of their programs as well as for the quality education and training they provide to new museum professionals. The other two were the graduate program of Cooperstown and the University of Washington Master of Arts in Museology program.
Balzer Contemporary Edge Gallery Director Mattie Reynolds (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) says national recognition of the award exponentially expands professional networks in museums. “We will not only have more people and organizations exposed to IAIA, but it will also expose our students to NEMPN,” Reynolds said. “We are one of the oldest museum study programs in a school in the country. So it’s a very well established program. as a competitive program for Indigenous and non-Indigenous museum professionals. Currently, New Mexico is starting its own chapter affiliated with NEMPN through the New Mexico Museum Association (NMAM), according to Reynolds. It will be an extraordinary resource for current students and recent graduates of museum studies programs in New Mexico, and it illustrates the exponential growth of the network Reynolds is talking about.
What sets the IAIA Museum Studies program apart as one of the best programs in the country is its Indigenous approach to learning along with its hands-on and hands-on methods that easily prepare new museum professionals for work. in the field as soon as you exit the program. “Our program focuses on Indigenous ways of knowing and practicing, as well as ethical and moral approaches to museum work,” says Reynolds. “It makes us really unique. We teach our students the traditional western way of doing things in the museum, then we tell them to unlearn it all and we teach them a more indigenous approach to museum work. This comprehensive and inclusive methodology gives an advantage to emerging museum professionals, whether they are new to the museum field or looking to broaden their knowledge in the field.
While students in the IAIA Museum Studies program receive their share of theory, the practical applications of the program exceed those of other programs. “We’re very logically structured to support museum professionals from the start,” says Reynolds. “Working in the gallery, for example, is one of the compulsory courses. Students gain extensive experience in setting up and uninstallation of exhibits. We also offer courses in the maintenance and conservation of collections. This practical and applicable approach to learning museology is quite unique. “
This rewards program is part of the rebranding of NEMPN they underwent earlier this year. As part of their rebranding, they officially changed their title to an acronym, and as that act reminded them of IHOP, the Inaugural EMP Awards trophy will be an engraved maple syrup bottle. “I’m thinking of having a pancake feast so we can use our maple syrup prize,” Reynolds says. The announcement of the Inaugural EMP Awards can be viewed on the NEMPN website.
For questions or more information, please contact IAIA Director of Communications Jason S. Ordaz at [email protected]
Photography: museology students from the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Indigenous Arts (MoCNA) collection; Department of Museum Studies Director Mattie Reynolds (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma). Photographs by Jason S. Ordaz.
About the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA)
The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is the only college in the world dedicated to the study of contemporary Native American and Alaska Native arts. The IAIA offers undergraduate degrees in Film Arts and Technology, Creative Writing, Indigenous Liberal Studies, Museum Studies, Performing Arts, and Performing Arts; graduate degrees in creative writing and visual arts; and certificates in Broadcast Journalism, Business and Entrepreneurship, Museum Studies, and Native American Art History. The college is home to approximately 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) and non-Native American students from around the world, representing nearly 100 federally recognized tribes. Named one of the top art institutions by UNESCO and the International Arts Association, IAIA is one of the leading art institutes in our country and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).