2022 was an award-winning year for the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. In March, the Heritage Alliance received three awards from the Tennessee Association of Museums (TAM). The organization received an Award of Excellence in the Audio Visual-Video Blog category for the YouTube series “Exhibit Extras.” The series is viewable on the Chester Inn Museum’s YouTube channel. The Heritage Alliance also received Awards of Excellence in the Temporary Exhibit category for the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum’s exhibit “The Noblest Art: A Local History of the Circus” and in the Special Event category for “Nancy’s Story.” “Nancy’s Story,” which tells the story of Elihu Embree’s enslaved woman Nancy, was also a nominee for TAM’S Past President Award, the highest honor bestowed by the professional organization. In addition to those other awards, volunteer museum docent Charlene Cleveland received special recognition for her volunteer service. She has volunteered at the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum since the museum opened in 2011.
In June, the Heritage Alliance received a History in the Media Award from the East Tennessee Historical Society for “Nancy’s Story.” The award-winning play was performed three times in 2022. It will be back onstage on February 2nd in collaboration with ETSU Black American Studies and ETSU Department of Theatre and Dance.
Volunteer Gordon Edwards received recognition in 2022 as well. He was awarded a Certificate of Merit from the Tennessee Historical Commission for his preservation efforts in the Old Jonesborough Cemetery and throughout the area. Thanks to his efforts, hundreds of markers have been cleaned and repaired in the Rocky Hill and College Hill Cemeteries. The Heritage Alliance conducts tours in the cemetery in the summer and holds the original play “A Spot on the Hill” in the Old Jonesborough Cemetery every October.
“It is a great honor to be recognized for all our hard work,” Anne Mason Executive Director of the Heritage Alliance shares. “We are a small staff of only three people, but we strive to ensure that our exhibits and programs are on par with larger institutions. We are also fortunate to have so many wonderful volunteers who help us achieve our goals. We can’t wait to see what 2023 brings our way.”