“It is the collaboration between UW's Museology Program, the American Alliance of Museum's Curators Committee, and the Chicago History Museum that makes the Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing Competition so valuable. 

The purpose of the competition is to elevate the quality of museum communication with visitors, and the involvement of the UW Museology students insures that we are not simply recognizing the excellent work of current label copy writers and editors, but are also helping to develop the next generation of museum professionals.”

- John Russick, Director, Curatorial Affairs, Chicago History Museum

Each year, during the Marketplace of Ideas at the American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting, professionals from every corner of the field gather to share ideas and celebrate the year’s best in exhibition label writing.  The forum for their conversations is a display showcasing the recognized entries for the Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing Competition presented by CurCom.  The display area bursts at the seams with insight from enthusiastic professionals who are passionate about their work.  In a field that puts such emphasis on community and collaboration, it is no surprise that the event feels less like an awards display than it does a brainstorming session amongst peers.

2014 marks the second year that Museology has partnered with John Russick, Curator of the Chicago History Museum. Each year, a new student from the Museology Program is chosen to take over the position of Project Manager for the competition.  In this role, the student organizes every aspect of the competition, from sending out the initial call for entries to organizing the display at the conference.  Along the way, the project manager fields questions from jurors and submitters, compiles entries, arranges meetings, and much more.  Through this partnership, the competition has become not only a chance for professionals to share their best work, but an opportunity for a student to gain first-hand leadership experience and make valuable connections in the museum field.