Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Florida Holocaust Museum curator wins FAM’s Innovator Award

Florida Holocaust Museum curator Erin Blankenship won 2009’s Florida Association of Museums (FAM) Innovator Award for her work curating the museum’s Courage and Compassion exhibit about the Bielski family, who saved over 1,200 Jews from certain execution during the Holocaust. The exhibit opened at the same time as the movie “Defiance”, telling the story of the Bielski brothers, premiered in theaters. Brendon Rennert, grandson of Tuvia Bielski, approached the museum about compiling the exhibit after hearing that the movie was in production.

The exhibition includes survivor testimonies, intricate models, and original artifacts, requiring extensive research by Blankenship to locate and build partnerships with family members, institutions, and survivors in order to acquire the right pieces. She even went as far as to coordinate an archeological dig of the Bielski family campsite in the Naliboki forest of Belarus.

“It is very rewarding being recognized by your peers,” Blankenship says, “so while it was a huge effort that really required a small team of people, I was very happy with the outcome and I feel very honored to have been given the opportunity to tell the story (on behalf of the FHM) of these extraordinary men and to have met the survivors and family.”

Read the press release about the award

Read Erin's bio


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