Michelle Obama presents nation’s highest honors to JA National Museum


First lady Michelle Obama presented the Institute of Museums and Library Services’ (IMLS) National Medal, the nation’s highest honor for museums, to the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) in a ceremony held on Dec. 17.

JANM President and CEO Akemi Kikumura Yano, Board Chairman Emeritus Ernest Doizaki, and community member Paul Takemoto accepted the National Medal.
Institutions receive the National Medal by IMLS in recognition for their “extraordinary civic, educational, economic, environmental, and social contributions.”

The museum is celebrating its 25th anniversary since its incorporation in 1985. Founded without a site and endowment and organized almost entirely with volunteers, JANM has renovated a historic former Buddhist temple building and constructed a modern Pavilion while creating landmark exhibitions, innovative public programs and groundbreaking curriculum in the 25 years of its existence.

Besides the National Medal, the museum will also receive $10,000 plus a visit from StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving and sharing the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs. StoryCorps will interview supporters of the museum as part of the documentation process.

For more information about JANM, call (213) 625-0414 or visit www.janm.org.

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