The Jim Blackaby Ingenuity Award was introduced in New Orleans at the 2004 MUSE awards ceremony. Jim Blackaby, a board member of the Media and Technology Committee, passed away in the summer of 2003. Jim influenced many in the museum world with his innovative work in information services and Internet strategies. Conceived in his memory, this award recognizes a project that exemplifies the power of creative imagination in the use of media and technology — a project that has a powerful effect on its audience, and one that stands above the others in inventiveness and quality. The winner is selected from submissions to the MUSE awards of all categories and does not necessarily have to be a winner within the category to which it was submitted.
Flashpoint: 1908–2008, Springfield, Illinois Race Riot
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Judges said: This project is deserving of the Jim Blackaby Award because it is innovative while exemplifying best practices in project based learning, museum practices, and media applications. The impact on student learning comes from the incorporation of a differentiated instruction approach and an infusion of various theories of learning. Each student, no matter what their preferred style of learning, had an opportunity to engage with the content in a manner that was comfortable and non-threatening. This made learning the new content and media applications relevant and meaningful. The project is multifaceted, beautifully produced, inspiring, innovative and will undoubtedly have a long term impact on these students — an experience they will remember through adulthood.
Producers Said: Flashpoint: 1908–2008, Springfield, Illinois Race Riot is an online magazine/exhibit, utilizing Z-mag software and comprising 22 pages of text, graphics, primary sources, audio and video, which explores the story of racial tension and violence that erupted in Mr. Lincoln’s hometown in August 1908. Flashpoint was created as part of the grant-funded Abraham Lincoln Summer Scholars Program by 16 area high school students who spent two weeks at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM) in Springfield, Illinois in summer 2008. Working with librarians, historians, museum professionals, educators and graphic designers, the students embarked on an intense project of historical inquiry, learning and job shadowing. The goal of the program was to improve, excite and awaken new educational and career opportunities for these adolescents. A secondary goal was to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot. Their efforts resulted in the stunning online magazine which showcases their work as photojournalists, museum curators and research historians.
Biography: Jim Blackaby
Jim Blackaby was originally from California and educated at the University of Oregon. After teaching for several years, he accepted a position in the Research Department of Old Sturbridge Village. From 1980-1990 he served as the Curator of the Mercer and Fonthill Museums in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. During that period, he edited the Revised Nomenclature for Museum Cataloging, provided assistance to the Art and Architecture Thesaurus, chaired the Common Agenda’s Data Base Task Force, and worked with the International Council of Museum’s Documentation Committee (ICOM-CIDOC).
From 1990 until 1996, he worked as an independent consultant in museum information systems, designing systems for museums and providing advice on topics ranging from collections management to setting up computer systems to developing multi-media products for museums. He developed systems for such clients as National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, The National Museum of African Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gardens. In addition, he developed Photo Archives systems for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum where he worked on an Internet access system for all of the museum’s research resources. In 1996, Jim joined the Office of Outreach Technologies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as their Senior Systems Developer and was responsible for all their web based projects. Jim passed away in the summer of 2003 and is missed by many.