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Statewide honor for director of Western Illinois Museum

Rich Egger
Sue Scott. "This award is for all the humanities organizations across the state who in their own way are bringing us together to create really vibrant, relevant, and strong communities."

Illinois Humanities handed out its Public Humanities Awards (PHA) during a virtual ceremony on Thursday. One of the recipients is from western Illinois.

IL Humanities praised Sue Scott, Director of the Western Illinois Museum in Macomb, for what it called her bold, creative approaches to current issues, local history, and personal and collective storytelling.

And Executive Director Gabrielle Lyon called Scott “…the fiercest, most generous champion of the humanities that I know.”

In accepting the award, Scott said she hopes it shines a light on all the small museums and community centers across the state.

“We do this so that we can gather and keep our community close, celebrate who we are, and then tackle those problems that we might need to tackle,” she said.

Scott also called it an award for all the museum’s partners and supporters, and she called IL Humanities “a lifeline” for the museum.

IL Humanities, which is the Illinois affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, said the PHAs are a celebration of people who have a transformative impact on their communities.

The organization also honored two other people:

  • Nicole Bond is an award-winning poet, museum educator, and teaching artist from Chicago
  • Lorenzo Savage is executive director and co-founder of I Am East St. Louis, a magazine and community organization

In addition, IL Humanities gave its Beacon Award to Art for Justice, which was founded in 2017 by Agnes Gund to “end mass incarceration in the United States and the racism that drives it.”

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from  readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.