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2013 Professional Recognition Awards


Best Interpretation of a Theme: Bisbee Radio Project for the Copper Chronicle  Radio Show


Ryan Bruce receives the award from Jody Crago (MAA President)


In the Spring of 2012, Ryan Bruce proposed a programming partnership with the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum, blending archival collections with storytelling through the medium of radio. The collaboration, The Copper Chronicle, is a weekly program spanning the history of the city from its early mining heritage beginning in the late 19th century, its complex path through the 20th century, to today’s creative community of the 21st century. The program records and archives the stories that make this history relevant to our citizens and visitors.

Beginning in October of 2012, the program brought Bisbee’s varied history to the airwaves on 96.1 FM and online at both and The program is produced by Mr. Bruce, Executive Director of the Bisbee Radio Project and Charles Bethea, Board Member of the Bisbee Council on the Arts & Humanities, governing authority of the Museum.

Mr. Bethea, a Bisbee native, researches, writes, and voices the stories. The stories revolve around the Museum collections and archives, brought to life through sound.  From Charles’ viewpoint, Bisbee is rich with history and great stories and the tradition of great storytelling is a cornerstone of public radio; thus, a perfect partnership!

The Copper Chronicle, a tip of the hat to the old Bisbee High School newspaper of the same name, also features original music composed and performed by local artists.  Beginning with the proposed syndication this summer, the Copper Chronicles will reach more than 6,000 citizens and visitors of Bisbee every week.


Outstanding Volunteer: Don Appel (Tovrea Castle and Pueblo Grande Museum)


Don Appel receives the award from Jody Crago (MAA President)


In March of 2012, Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights, the distinctive “layer cake” structure in east Phoenix opened to the public for tours.  The Tovrea Carraro Society (TCS) a 501 C 3 nonprofit operates the Castle in partnership with the City of Phoenix Parks Department.   There had been an effort by the TCS in late 2011 and early 2012 to develop a docent training program and build a corps of docents to lead tours at the Castle. 

As the ad hoc committee that had led this effort transitioned off the TCS board, Don was recruited to help move the docent training program forward.  Don has played a pivotal in refining the training program; he created a system for docents to participate in practice tours, refined the training process, and developed a committee to engage the volunteer docents in training and certification process.  Because of this significant contribution, Don has made an outstanding contribution to the successful Centennial Year debut of this important Phoenix Historic Landmark.

In addition to serving on the board of the Tovrea Carraro Society, and leading its docent training program, Don is also an active volunteer, docent and board member of the Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary


Outstanding Volunteer: Ruth Clem (Sedona Heritage Museum)



Janeen Trevellyan receives the award for Ruth Clem from Jody Crago (MAA President)


When the Sedona Heritage Museum first opened in 1998, Ruth Clem helped to develop its gift shop, plan the displays and select the merchandise.  Since then she has not only managed our Museum‘s gift shop, she has consulted with other Verde Valley museums when they opened or expanded their gift shops

Ruth expanded our Museum shop’s product line from a handful of volunteer-made and donated items to a gift shop that provides almost half of the Museum's gross annual revenues.  It rivals some of Sedona’s Uptown stores in quality and variety.  She has built solid working relationships with artists, craftspeople and vendors of all kinds.  Our gift shop is viewed by many in our community as ‘the’ place to bring visitors because of the quality of the product and personal service and a place to do regular book and gift shopping for themselves.

Ruth has trained hundreds of volunteers over more than14 years as manager, and has brought a high level of professionalism and administrative detail and oversight.  She established credit card sales in the shop, and guided the staff and docents through our first computerized point of sale system, as well as our second version using touchscreen technology. 

Under Ruth Clem’s direction, our gift shop revenues have enabled the  Sedona Heritage Museum to rise from an ordinary small museum to financing the depth and breadth of community service programs and staff support that we have today.   


Outstanding Volunteer Museum Organization: Arizona Military Museum



Joe Abodeely, Director of the Arizona Military Museum, receives the award from Jody Crago (MAA President)


In today’s difficult museum environment, the Arizona Military Museum has truly become “The Little Engine That Could” in the face of meager support, lack of funds, and the trials and tribulations of maintaining a museum in one of Arizona’s largest historic adobe buildings. Through major repairs and tough financial times, the museum board and all-volunteer staff have continued to improve their collections, programs, and exhibits over the past decade.

Their mission, to represent Arizona’s military history from Spanish conquistadors to the present, covers centuries of history and represents Arizona’s military presence everywhere around the globe, an enormous undertaking. Major effort is given to displaying authentic historic artifacts (even a Viet Nam War era helicopter) and a combination real and replica uniforms and equipment.

In the past four years, the Arizona Military Museum has increased its efforts and shown suburb leadership in the fields of interpretation, education, and outreach in spite of dire financial times and major preservation expenses for their historic facility.

By attending workshops and consulting with professionals, dedicated board members and the all-volunteer staff have used whatever means possible to learn the best museum standards. Before I retired from the Arizona Historical Society, I facilitated a grant for the Arizona Military Museum to hire Spanish Colonial military re-enactor and expert researcher Rick Collins to create an exhibit with replica uniforms and weapons that has no equal at any museum in the state.

 Even more recently, the AMM has stepped into the 21st Century by taking a major role in the Arizona Memory Project. Students, politicians, and history enthusiasts of all ages from all parts of the world can now view selected military collections online, allowing new opportunities for research for research and understanding.

The museum was an early adopter of this new technology, recognizing the value of digital collections. By partnering with the Arizona State Library, the Arizona Military Museum was able to use tools and training to bring them up to state-of-the-art museum technology standards.

The museum also fosters direct civic engagement via its volunteer program. They depend entirely on volunteers for everything from exhibit design and construction to ongoing operations, including carpentry, dry wall, photography, electrical wiring, and even plumbing skills.

The Arizona Military Museum engages the community by providing exceptional presentations at their Military Pavilion at the State Capitol in celebration of the Statehood Centennial.  They also participated in the U.S. Department’s 50th Commemoration of the Viet Nam War, hosting a dinner with excellent speakers for an audience of more than 400 attendees.

In addition to special programs and dinners, the museum publishes The Courier, an excellent newsletter with stories about the museum collections and events, but also longer articles by professional historians and military aficionados such as Marshall Trimble and yours truly.

Through the Arizona Military Museum’s ongoing collection, preservation, education, and outreach, the rich story of Arizona’s military history will continue to be told for decades to come. 


Certificate of Recognition of Outstanding Service: Janice Klein


Janice Klein receives the award from Jody Crago (MAA President)


Museum Association of Arizona

P.O. Box 63902,
Phoenix, Arizona 85082

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