History Cherokee Staff with the Special Projects 2 Awards won for the documentary “The Way It Was – Stories of Cherokee County’s Desegregation” and Special Projects 4 Award for the Cherokee County History Center’s exhibits in front of the Jones Mercantile Wagon in Gallery #3. From left to right: Harvee White, Education Manager | Thomas Paterson, Development & Communications Coordinator | Stefanie Joyner, Executive Director | Kaylee Johnson, Exhibits & Collections Manager

History Cherokee Wins GAM Award

Nearly 200 museum professionals recently descended upon Cartersville, Georgia, for the annual meeting of the Georgia Association of Museums (GAM). They arrived from all regions of the state, from Rome to Thomasville to Savannah. The theme of the 2023 conference was “Museums: The (Fill in The Blank) Frontier.” Attendees participated in a variety of sessions and workshops ranging from developing education programs to designing eye-catching exhibits and visiting with vendors whose products and services target the field. The highlight of the   week was the annual GAM Awards Luncheon.

This year History Cherokee was presented with two awards by GAM President Marcy Breffle and Award Committee Co-Chairs Melissa Swindell and Karin Dalton. The first award recognized the documentary, The Way it Was: Stories of Cherokee County’s Desegregation, created in partnership with Scrapbook Video Productions. The other Special Project Award was presented for the new Cherokee County History Center exhibits.

In the documentary, Education Manager Harvee White and videographer Mark Albertin were able to capture the very powerful story of Cherokee County’s desegregation by talking with the people who integrated the Canton Theater and other local establishments.

“We were careful to capture not only their voices, but their resilience, pain, joy, and hopes to showcase in the film,” said Ms. White.

The five exhibition galleries in the new History Center were created by Architect and Exhibit Designer John White and Exhibits and Collections Manager, Kaylee Johnson. The galleries explore Cherokee County’s history from 10,000 B.C. to the present.

“Being involved in this project and being able to share Cherokee County’s rich collective history through our new museum’s exhibits is such an honor” said Ms. Johnson. “Our team – from director, designer, marketing, education, and curation – came together to create a museum that I know will have a long and enduring legacy in our community.”

“I’m incredibly proud of this team and thankful for the recognition from the Georgia Association of Museums for these two awards,” said History Cherokee’s Executive Director, Stefanie Joyner. “These talented professionals worked hard to bring this history to life and we’re excited to share these stories with the public.”

“We are very pleased to present these awards to a very deserving recipient,” said GAM President Breffle. “Our members represent a good cross section of museums and cultural organizations in Georgia’s communities, large and small,” she added. “We are happy to honor institutions, staff members, volunteers, patrons, exhibits, and special projects that have excelled in providing inspiring programs and leadership,” she concluded.

The Cherokee County History Center is open Wednesday through Sunday; learn more at historycherokee.org.