The Heritage Awards recognize individuals, organizations, partnerships, programs, and products that contribute significantly to the community by interpreting, promoting, preserving, researching, and/or supporting our historical legacy. Awards are made in eight different categories, including Heritage Tourism Product Award, New Initiative Award, Heritage Partnership Award, Heritage Professional of the Year, Heritage Interpreter of the Year, and Public/Private Initiative Award. Other categories include the Legacy Award, which recognizes an individual or group who continues or preserves a traditional craft or livelihood, and the Heritage Leadership Award, which goes to an individual for significant and long-lasting contributions to local history and heritage.
The nomination deadline for this year's Heritage Awards is Friday, September 28. Please contact the Heritage Area staff at 410-222-1805 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to discuss the nomination process. Award winners from 2011 are listed below. Click here to see awardees from 2004 through 2010.
Eighth Annual Four Rivers Heritage Awards
Four Rivers' Eighth Annual Heritage Awards was held on Thursday, October 27, 2011 in the Blue Heron Room at Quiet Waters Park, Annapolis. This year's award ceremony was held in conjunction with our Tenth Anniversary Celebration. The award categories included Heritage Tourism Product, New Initiative, Heritage Interpreter of the Year, Heritage Professional, and the most prestigious award, the Heritage Leadership Award. Please join us in congratulating these honorees:
Heritage Tourism Product Award: Recognizing outstanding heritage tourism products such as exhibits, self-guided or guided tours, brochures, videos, publications, or websites. Project Run-A-Way is a multi-faceted project designed to explore the history of enslaved, indentured, and convict servant labor in the Chesapeake from a very personal perspective. Historic Annapolis worked with a broad community advisory group that brought together a wide and diverse set of partners, including the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, the U.S. Naval Academy, Banneker-Douglass Museum, Coppin State University, Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation, Key School, Wiley H. Bates Middle School, the Maryland State Archives, and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. For combining historical accuracy with vivid living history in an entertaining, educational, and highly thought-provoking manner, Four Rivers is pleased to present the Heritage Tourism Product Award to Historic Annapolis.
New Initiative Award: Recognizing initiatives for "green" or environmentally-friendly products, programs, and/or tours, or for the use of new technology in heritage area projects. The Hammond-Harwood House Association receives this award for its outstandingly effective use of the social media site Facebook to document and share the progress of their long-awaited, multi-phase roof-restoration project.
Heritage Interpreter of the Year Award: This award recognizes heritage interpreters, whether docent, educator, tour guide, or volunteer, who play a vital role at heritage sites and on tours, by sharing their expertise with the public and inspiring stewardship of our collective heritage resources. This year's award is presented to heritage interpreter Ruth Hazen of the Deale Area Historical Society. Ruth is a tireless docent and dedicated volunteer who has given countless hours to supporting the society and its museum, housed in the Nutwell Schoolhouse, who goes "above and beyond" to impart her knowledge and love of history to the public.
Heritage Professional Award: This award goes to an individual among our professional colleagues who has made significant contributions to the enhancement of local history and/or heritage tourism. This year's award is presented to Jane McWilliams. Jane has been a pre-eminent historian of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County for more than thirty years. This year, her masterful book, Annapolis: City on the Severn, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, draws upon her encyclopedia knowledge of the city's history to give us the first comprehensive, authoritative, richly illustrated, and engagingly written history of Maryland's capital city. It has been acclaimed as "a superb piece of literature and a well-researched history" by state archivist Edward Papenfuse.
Heritage Leadership Award: Recognizing an individual for significant and long-lasting contributions to the community by interpreting, preserving, promoting, researching, and/or supporting local history and heritage. We are pleased to announce that two deserving individuals received this award this year. Ann Jensen is an author, historian, civic activist, educator, docent, and long-serving member of Four Rivers' Coordinating Council. Ann has been described as an "Annapolis jewel" for her knowledge and commitment to preserving and celebrating local history and heritage. She is a noted author of books for both adults and children and of magazine articles. Ann receives this award for her dedication and commitment to preserving and sharing the history and heritage of Annapolis.
The second Heritage Leadership Award is awarded to Virginia Clagett, for her vision, leadership, and tireless dedication to preserving the environment and heritage of South County. As a member of the Maryland General Assembly, Delegate Clagett advocated for the environment, public safety, and education, helping to shape the county and state and preserve all those qualities that make our county and our state so special. All of the issues that Virginia has advocated and fought for over her years in public service have enriched our heritage area and ensured that future generations will also be able to enjoy our rich heritage.