by Pat Filer, AKCHO Awards Selection Committee Chair
Willard Jue Memorial Award recipients are individuals who, like the award’s namesake, have made outstanding contributions, provided exceptional leadership, and demonstrated excellence in duration, quality, and spirit of service.
Patricia Cosgrove has been the Director of the White River Valley Museum since 1990. Cosgrove received her BA in Tribal Art History and her Masters in Museum Studies – both from University of Washington. For six years, she served as Exhibit Manager for the State Centennial Project and coordinated Burke Museum staff and representatives from 35 tribes to honor the native cultures of Washington state.
As Director of the White River Valley Museum, Cosgrove manages a professional staff of five and a large volunteer group. She writes and manages all grants, designs and mounts exhibits, and teaches development classes. The restoration and management of the Mary Olson Farm was one of her most rewarding projects. It received AKCHO’s Long Term Project Award in 2012.
In her own words, “It has always been my goal to work in museums using the exhibit as a way to further cross-cultural understanding. I believe museums have a potentially powerful voice that can help shape the world for the better. Meanwhile, I hope to engage the eye with beautiful things and meet some interesting characters.”
In her tenure at White River Valley Museum, Cosgrove has designed and curated nearly 75 exhibits. That’s a lot of unusual and beautiful things – and interesting characters.