Awards of Merit

Program Overview

The Connecticut League of Museums recognizes excellence in museum work through its annual Awards of Merit.  The awards recognize institutions and individuals who demonstrate the highest professional standards and who enhance and further the understanding of Connecticut’s culture and history.  The purpose of the awards is to recognize the care, thought, and effort invested in these exceptional contributions to the museum field, and to inspire and encourage others.

The Awards of Merit program is also a stepping stone to national recognition through the American Association for State and Local History’s Leadership in History Awards and other national museum awards programs.  We encourage organizations with eligible projects to consider submitting to both award programs.  For more information about the AASLH awards, contact state representative Nick Foster at   

Awards of Merit recipients at the 2023 ceremony

Award Categories

CLHO presents Awards of Merit in two categories: Projects and Individual Achievement.

Projects include most types of public-facing museum work, including but not limited to: exhibitions and curatorial projects; research projects; websites and digital projects; online exhibitions; books and other publications; educational and other public programs; talks and lecture series; documentaries, films, and videos; demonstrations, restorations, and preservation projects; etc. We accept and review nominations for projects presented in-person, in print, online, or in hybrid forms.

Individual Achievement awards are intended for people who have made significant and longstanding contributions to the museum field in Connecticut beyond the local level. While we recognize that there are countless individuals who are worthy of recognition, this statewide award is intended for those whose achievements rise beyond a single town or locality. We encourage towns to recognize the contributions of important individuals at the local level with their own awards and accolades.

Past Award Recipients

Statement of Excellence

Projects and people recognized with a CLM Award of Merit should demonstrate an effort to go above and beyond the ordinary for an organization or individual. Qualified nominees should achieve a level of excellence and serve as an example for others in the field to follow. Nominations can show excellence in several ways, including (but not limited to):

  • Engaging with collections, topics, and visitors in ways that are new for the organization and create a sense of belonging. Nominations should reflect the most up to date standards of interpretation and museum work.
  • Demonstrating effective use of museum collections or partnerships to tell new stories, reinterpret common stories from new perspectives, or uncover stories that alter or expand our shared understanding.
  • Exploring innovative interpretive methods that engage a broad and diverse audience. Excellent projects can offer multiple avenues for audiences to interact and engage with the material that best suits their learning style.
  • Showing how museum collections and subject matter are relevant to the present and the future.


We accept nominations from individuals, museums, libraries, and history organizations, and other cultural institutions in Connecticut.  We strongly encourage organizations to nominate their own work, and to recognize outstanding contributions by their peers with a nomination.  Individuals may nominate their own work in the project category, but they may not nominate themselves for individual achievement awards.

All projects completed in Connecticut or by Connecticut organizations within the preceding 24 months are eligible for nomination.  Individuals under consideration for achievement awards should reside in Connecticut and have a track record of significant contributions to the museum field beyond the local level.

Nomination Process

Please submit your nomination via the 2024 Awards of Merit Google Form by the deadline.

Nominations are due by August 23, 2024.  The committee meets in early September to deliberate.  Award recipients will be notified in mid-September, and awards will be presented at a ceremony in mid-to-late October.

To learn more about making a nomination, visit our nomination page and download the nomination guidelines.

Review Process

Nominations are reviewed by the CLM Awards of Merit Committee, which is composed of at least five museum professionals from around the state.  The committee includes members of the CLM Board of Directors, as well as others recruited by the committee chair.  In forming the committee, we try to bring together individuals representing different areas of expertise as well as sizes of institution.

The Awards of Merit are noncompetitive: all projects judged worthy of recognition will receive an award.  There is no set number of awards that we give each year.  Each nomination is judged on its own merits.  The Awards Committee may give multiple awards or no award in any category.

In order to identify promising projects, the Connecticut representative to the American Association for State and Local History will look over the nominations and may contact you about submitting to AASLH’s Leadership in History Awards.


If you have questions about the Awards of Merit program or your nomination, please contact Amrys Williams, CLM Executive Director, at, or call the League office at (860) 832-2674.  We look forward to receiving your nomination!

    2024 Nominations Open

    Nominations are open for the 2024 CLM Awards of Merit. Please visit our nomination page for complete information about preparing and submitting your nomination.

    Deadline: August 23, 2024

    Prepare a nomination

    Download the guidelines

    Submit your nomination

    Connecticut League of Museums
    Central Connecticut State UniversityDepartment of History
    1615 Stanley Street
    New Britain, CT 06050
    (860) 832-2674

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