Mahomet museum gets national recognition
MAHOMET – Museum evaluators say that outstanding outreach efforts with the community were a primary reason why the Early American Museum at Lake of the Woods in Mahomet has been awarded the highest national recognition a museum can receive – accreditation by the American Association of Museums.
Museum director Cheryl Kennedy said this marks the fourth time the Early American Museum achieved national accreditation.
"Being accredited makes us more attractive to receive grants because it shows we follow the best practices within the museum profession," Kennedy said. "When we achieve this label, it designates that our museum is striving to provide the highest quality of standards in the field."
Kennedy said the accreditation also tells people interested in donating to the museum that their money will be well spent.
This year a team of evaluators from other museums cited the Early American Museum for its outreach to the community around Mahomet and throughout Champaign County.
The museum received kudos for its African-American history newsletter, a project completing research on Illinois quilts (which culminated in a quilt book), the museum's partnership with WILL Radio and the museum's oral history project focusing on the area's East Frisian community.
"We try to set a good example for the community," Kennedy said. "Because we can't do it all here in our museum building, we try to reach out into the community and share our projects with the people at large."
The Early American Museum is one of only 23 accredited museums in Illinois.
"This achievement is the result of the hard work and incredible talent and expertise that Cheryl Kennedy and her staff bring to their jobs every day," said Champaign County Forest Preserve District executive director Jerry Pagac. "Accreditation enables us to constantly strive for improvement and professionalism."