News & Press

Plimoth Patuxet Museums Announces 2023 NEMA Awards

Prestigious Awards From Region‘s Leading Museum Association Recognize Excellence and Innovation

Plymouth, Massachusetts (December 12, 2023) – Plimoth Patuxet Museums is pleased to announce that they have received two awards from the New England Museum Association (NEMA) that recognize the outstanding work of its staff and projects – the New England Museum Association 2023 Excellence Award, and the New England Museum Association 2023 Publication Award.

New England Museum Association 2023 Excellence Award:

Kim VanWormer, Guest Experience Manager for the Plimoth Grist Mill, is the recipient of NEMA’s tenth annual Excellence Award. In a press statement regarding the award, NEMA expressed that they were “proud to honor our colleagues’ extraordinary effort and commitment to the New England Museum community.”

Kim began her more than 30-year career at Plimoth Patuxet Museums as a historical performer and Museum Educator. At the start of her museum career, Kim accepted the opportunity to design and manage the living history program at Sainte Marie Among the Iroquois. Returning to Plimoth Patuxet Museums in 1995, Kim demonstrated her passion for developing educational materials and became the Director of Education. During her time as the Director of Education Kim led a number of prestigious projects including the development of the first iteration of the award-winning online interactive game, “You are the Historian: Investigating the First Thanksgiving” as well as facilitating prominent collaborations with Scholastic Magazine.

In 2013, Kim spearheaded the development of the interpretive program for the Museum’s newly acquired living history site, the Plimoth Grist Mill. At the Mill, Kim designed an interpretive program which blends the history, ecology, science and technology of the Mill to create a lively, engaging, and interactive experience for guests from all over the world. She also learned the trade of milling and has worked with local farmers and chefs to develop a milling program which is helping revitalize the local grain economy by producing locally grown, stone ground grains. These grains are featured in over 20 local restaurants and shipped throughout the country. In 2015, Kim was presented with the Hornblower Award, Plimoth Patuxet's highest honor recognizing a person who has made an outstanding contribution of enduring significance to the Museum.

New England Museum Association 2023 Publication Award:

Plimoth Patuxet received second place in NEMA’s publication competition for its keystone publication – Plimoth Patuxet Life: The Thanksgiving Edition. The Museum’s Director of Outreach, Kate LaPrad worked with Lead Graphic Designer Nicole Wrobel, with the support of other colleagues, to create the publication that has garnered NEMA Publication Awards in previous years.

“It is a wonderful honor for our staff to be recognized by the New England Museum Association through these prestigious awards,” said Ellie Donovan, the Museum’s Executive Director. “The awards shine a bright light on their exemplary contributions to Plimoth Patuxet’s mission and the museum community.”

Since 1918, NEMA has been the museum field’s regional resource for sharing best practices, connecting colleagues, and inspiring careers. The organization creates opportunities for learning, personal growth, creative idea exchange, and inspiration that help individuals and institutions do their best.

About Plimoth Patuxet

Plimoth Patuxet is one of the Nation’s foremost living history museums. Founded in 1947, the Museum creates engaging experiences of history built on thorough research about the Indigenous and European people who met along Massachusetts' historic shores of change in the 1600s. Immersive and educational encounters underscore the collaborations as well as the cultural clash and conflicts of the 17th-century people of this region. Major exhibits include the Historic Patuxet Homesite, the 17th-Century English Village, Mayflower II, and Plimoth Grist Mill. A private, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational institution, Plimoth Patuxet is supported by admission fees, donations, memberships, and revenue from a variety of educational programming, dining and gift shops. Plimoth Patuxet receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, private foundations, corporations, and local businesses. Located less than an hour’s drive south of Boston, and 15 minutes north of Cape Cod, the Museum is open daily from early spring through the Sunday after Thanksgiving. For more information, visit Follow the Museum on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.