WAPAKONETA, OH–The Ohio Museums Association has named the Armstrong Air & Space Museum the Institution of the Year, Armstrong museum officials announced.
The association cited growth and improvements in several areas in 2015 as reasons for the award. The areas incluced attendance, staff increases, facility and exhibit improvements and outreach programs. The association announced the award at its annual awards dinner in Columbus on April 17, 2016.
“This is a tremendous honor for our museum. We know that last year was great by a variety of measures and that we worked hard, but it’s fantastic to have validation from outside of the museum. To have a tangible representation of that success,” said Chris Burton, the museum’s executive director.
Ohio Museums Association board president William Robinson said, “when an organization experiences growth in a single metric, it’s exciting. But even more impressive is growth on multiple levels in the span of a single year.”
Annual attendance increased by 16 percent over the previous year—the highest since 2002, according to the announcement. The Armstrong museum set 30 monthly records in 2015 for attendance, admissions sales, retail sales, and retail sales per person.
The Museum also opened the Art & Armstrong exhibit and debuted the zero-gravity trainer. The Museum was able to invest more than $20,000 into its exhibits in 2015 and purchase a new shuttle van to support its statewide outreach.
The Museum also took home the honorable mention for the visual communication award in the level three budget category. The award recognized the shuttle wrap on the Museum’s new vehicle.
The Armstrong Air & Space Museum is open Mondays through Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. until October 31, when winter hours begin.
The museum is a partner of the National Aviation Heritage Alliance.