Monday, Mar 20, 2017 - 8:00 am
Share your story of how MCASD has touched your life on the IMLS Facebook page

San Diego—The Institute of Museum and Library Services named the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) one of 30 finalists for the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 23 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities.

“We are deeply honored to be recognized by the IMLS for our innovative service to the community,” said Kathryn Kanjo, The David C. Copley Director & CEO at MCASD. “This nomination is a testament to the impact of MCASD's programming, including ArtOASIS for active duty military personnel recovering from combat-related stress, Extended School Partnerships serving middle and high school educators and students, and the Teen Advisory Group. We share this honor with our many community partners, members, and supporters who have made these achievements possible.”

The nomination comes at a significant time in the Museum’s history. Last fall MCASD celebrated its 75th Anniversary and launched a $75 million expansion of its flagship La Jolla site. In 2016, the Museum also recognized the unparalleled 33-year tenure of Director Emeritus Hugh M. Davies and welcomed the appointment of Kathryn Kanjo as the David C. Copley Director and CEO.

“I couldn’t be more pleased to see the Museum receive this important recognition at the end of my tenure,” said Director Emeritus Hugh M. Davies. “It has been my great honor to guide this organization for the last 33 years, and to witness MCASD grow from a modestly yet scaled organization to a nationally lauded museum that boldly champions the art of our time. MCASD has made its mark on the San Diego/Tijuana region for 75 years, and today we stand poised to make our mark on the next 75 years.”

This year’s finalists include individual public libraries, university libraries, art, science, and children’s museums, and many other types of institutions that exemplify the great diversity of libraries and museums across the country.

“The 2017 National Medal Finalists represent the leading museums and libraries that serve as catalysts for change in their communities,” said Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “It is our honor to recognize the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego for its commitment to providing programs and services that improve the lives of individuals, families and communities. We salute them and their valuable work in providing educational opportunities to their community and celebrate the power libraries and museums can have across the country.”

Finalists are chosen because of their significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. IMLS is encouraging community members to share their story of how MCASD has touched their lives on the IMLS Facebook page. To Share Your Story and learn more about how the finalist institutions make an impact, please visit

The National Medal winners will be announced later this spring. The representatives from winning institutions will travel to Washington, D.C. to be honored at the National Medal award ceremony. To see the full list of finalists and learn more about the National Medal, visit

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and approximately 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Founded in 1941, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is the preeminent contemporary visual arts institution in San Diego County. The Museum's collection includes more than 4,700 works of art created since 1950. In addition to presenting exhibitions by international contemporary artists, the Museum serves thousands of children and adults annually at its varied education programs, and offers a rich program of film, performance, and lectures. MCASD is a private, nonprofit organization, with 501c3 tax-exempt status; it is supported by generous contributions and grants from MCASD Members and other individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. Kathryn Kanjo is The David C. Copley Director and CEO at MCASD. Institutional support for MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.