Vashon Heritage Museum Wins 2021 AASLH Award of Excellence


The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces that the Vashon Heritage Museum is the recipient of an Award of Excellence for IN and OUT: Being LGBTQ on Vashon Island. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 76th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

“Receiving the AASLH award is both thrilling and rewarding,” says Ellen Kritzman, co-curator of IN and Out. “Rewarding to our whole team for the hard but also exciting work of creating the exhibit, rewarding for its validation of the concepts and visions IN and OUT portrays, and rewarding to the Heritage Museum for its support of telling our LGBTQIA+ stories.”

The exhibit innovatively depicts the stories of LGBTQ islanders as vignettes within cells that are part of the honeycombed beehive of the community. It also features an AIDS memorial garden, an interactive gender garden, and a closet with a soundscape that the visitor must pass through in order to come out, and then access the exhibit. IN and OUT displays a timeline of international, national, state and local events from 560 B.C. forward that puts Vashon’s queer history in context. The AASLH Award of Excellence is the third award the exhibit has won.

IN and OUT will close later this year as the Museum opens its newest special exhibit Natural Wonder: An Island Shaped by Water, created in partnership with the Vashon Nature Center.

Visitors to the museum can still experience IN and OUT beginning the week of July 11. The Museum will be open Wednesday-Sunday, 1:00-4:00 pm. Visitors will be asked to follow state guidelines, which include observing six-foot social distancing and wearing a mask while indoors.