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Updated: Jun 28, 2023
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We're excited when we receive recognition for our work! But we know it takes our whole community to achieve the level of excellence that these awards reflect. Thank you to our community, our colleagues, and our hard working staff and volunteers! 
State history award logogroup photo with award  Award   Michigan Museums Association Award

Our Awards

2024 Oakland County Board of Commissioners Proclamation-Underground Railroad Project
OUGRR Project Proclamationn January 31, 2024, the Birmingham Museum was one of five Oakland County history organizations to receive a proclamation from the Oakland County Board of Commissioners for our role in a five-community pilot project to study the Underground Railroad in our area. The project was funded in part by the Michigan Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and will continue for another year with additional funding from MichiganHumanities. The project scope will be expanded to include northern, eastern, and western communities in Oakland County. Other partners for the next project phase include the City of Birmingham, the Friends of the Birmingham Museum, and Oakland Schools, in addition to additional libraries and historical societies. 

The project has created a traveling exhibit for public display, a database of evidence-based research, and will also produce elementary and secondary teacher resource materials and a published study guide with photos, maps, documents, and sources for student use.
Historical Society of Michigan Award for Institutions 2021
HSM Award HSM State History Award in the category of Institutions was awarded to the Birmingham Museum from the Historical Society of Michigan in recognition for excellence in scholarship and community engagement.  We are pleased to receive this acknowledgement on behalf of our staff, volunteers, Museum Board, and the entire community! 

"With a professional staff of three people, along with help from volunteers and college interns, the Birmingham Museum is a modest-size institution that has a big impact. The museum has embraced an inclusive approach to its exhibits and programs, emphasizing people over objects in telling Birmingham’s story and attracting involved audience members. In addition to its on-site exhibits, the museum has a lively social media presence, stages off-site exhibits in public venues, hosts virtual exhibits, leads public programming for people of all ages and has a robust publications program."HSM Logo

State of Michigan Legislative Tribute 2019

Manoogian with Legislative Tribute TributeState Representative Mari Manoogian presented the Birmingham Museum with a State of Michigan Legislative Tribute on August 23, 2019. The document was signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilcrist II and is a testament to the museum's efforts to reach new audiences in engaging ways. The tribute references the Birmingham Museum's efforts to educate as well as entertain the public, in particular, the museum's popular Twitter(link) account. Thanks, Rep. Manoogian, and to all our visitors and supporters! We look forward to even more creative and collaborative contact in the future!  

"LET IT BE KNOWN that the Birmingham Museum has since 2001 provided a top-quality educational experience to the people of Birmingham, Michigan.

The Birmingham Museum was founded in May of 2001 at the Marion and Harry Allen House and the surrounding area. It includes the oldest house in Oakland County, the 1822 John West Hunter House. The museum works to educate citizens as the history of Birmingham and the many people who have lived here. The Museum won the 2018 Michigan Museums Award for Community Engagement for its exhibit “The People of Birmingham: 200 Years of Stories.”

The Museum had previously won the 2014 Michigan Museum Association Award for “Best New Experience” for “Afternoon Backstage With Chad Smith.” That event showcased the museum’s ability to deliver creative and entertaining alternative programming to the citizens of Birmingham.

The museum must also be recognized for its amazing Twitter account, @bham_museum. This once again shows the ability of the museum to engage patrons in creative and non-traditional ways. It’s the best Twitter account of any museum around, don’t @ us.

IN SPECIAL TRIBUTE, Therefore, this document and signed and dedicated to Birmingham Museum. May you continue your excellence in the fields of history and education for years to come."

Michigan Museums Association Award for Community Engagement 2018

MMA Award-Group PhotoFor the second time in recent years, the Birmingham Museum was the recipient of an award for excellence from the Michigan Museums Association, which represents hundreds of museums large and small all over our state. In 2018, MMA introduced a new Outreach Award to recognize a museum for excellence and leadership in the museum community in the area of public engagement. 

To be considered, the project or program needed to be unique, innovative, and community-MMA Award driven, as was demonstrated by our year-long bicentennial exhibit, "The People of Birmingham: 200 Years of Stories."

Michigan Museums Association Best New Experience 2014
Best New Experience AwardChad drummingIn 2014, the Birmingham Museum was also recipient of an MMA award in the category of "Best New Experience," which recognized a museum's innovative way of enriching visitor experience and forming meaningful connections between people and culture. 
“Afternoon Backstage with Chad Smith” brought the local rock star and special guests together at his exhibit at the museum.  Smith, Grammy-award-winning drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, grew up in the area and was featured as part of the Sounds of Birmingham music exhibition.  The museum worked to keep the event personal and intimate for both guests and Smith, while raising needed funds.  The reception brought the museum and its music exhibition to a whole new audience, and received rave reviews from both guests and Chad and his family.  See more about Chad Smith and the items he loaned for our exhibit, including his famous custom tattooed drum kit. (Photo of Chad Smith, Carroll DeWeese)