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Congratulations to this year's 2023 HEART Award recipients!

The process of recognizing a partner that result in a proposal for the Idaho Museum of International Diaspora (IMID) Board of Directors to consider an individual or organization to receive the IMID ‘HEART’ Award is not a light decision. The entire process takes a minimum of two years to determine if they personify partnership by extending their hearts, minds, resources, and/or services to further the mission of the IMID in an invaluable and immeasurable way. It is with excitement to announce this year’s HEART Award recipients from Banská Bystrica, Slovakia and spanning across three areas in the USA — Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Washington, DC.

Photo credit: Idaho Museum of International Diaspora | left to right: Dr. Sascha Priewe, Jon Cox, Dr. Martin Schmidt, Sera Koulabdara, Dr. Palina Louangketh, Elke Shaw-Tulloch, Andy Bale, and Dr. Anna Slatinská


This year during IMID’s inaugural annual global conference – Museums: The Future of Diaspora Engagement, five total recipients received the HEART Award:


· Andy Bale | Professor of Art and Photography, Dickinson College; Founding Member, Idaho Museum of International Diaspora Academic and Research Program

· Jon Cox | National Geographic Explorer; Fulbright Specialist, Matej Bel University; Professor of Art and Design | University of Delaware; Founding Member, Idaho Museum of International Diaspora Academic and Research Program

· Sera Koulabdara | CEO, Legacies of War; Chair, US Campaign to Ban Landmine and Cluster Munition Coalition; Founding Member, Idaho Museum of International Diaspora Global Leadership Council

· Dr. Anna Slatinská | Manager, Faculty of Arts, Matej Bel University; Founding Member, Idaho Museum of International Diaspora Global Leadership Council

· Faculty of Arts at Matej Bel University


The HEART Award recognizes the award recipient for outstanding support and contribution of time and resources to enhance the influence of positive community transformation aligned to the IMID’s core values, HEART. Connecting the community to cultures from around the world is at the core of the IMID guided by our values. The active partnership and contributions of each of the five 2023 HEART Award recipients align solidly to the core values of IMID – HEART. Each of the letters in HEART represents the guiding principles of the IMID:



HISTORY. HONOR. HUMAN.

Preserving the integrity of history and honor the human journey.

EMPOWER. EDUCATION. EXPLORE. ENGAGE.

Empower individuals through education and explore creative ways to deepen community engagement.

ACCEPTANCE. AWARENESS. ACCOUNTABILITLY.

Through acceptance of diversity can awareness be gained, and accountability be upheld.

RELATIONSHIPS. RESPONSIBILITY.

Taking responsibility to foster a community of relationships.

TRUTH. TOLERANCE.

Exercise mutual respect and tolerance for others while maintaining strong commitment to the integrity of truth.


Spanning across four days the Museums: The Future of Diaspora Engagement conference was co-hosted by IMID, Matej Bel University (MBU), City of Banská Bystrica, and MBU Faculty of Arts. The 4-day conference (September 20-23, 2023), a congress-style conference aligned to European standards, was conducted at various sites in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia including the SNP Museum, MBU Faculty of Political Sciences and International Relations, and MBU Faculty of Arts.


Photo credit: Idaho Museum of Internattional Diaspora


The HEART Award Ceremony was held on day one (September 20) during the VIP Partnership Dinner shortly after His Excellency, Dermot McGauran, Ambassador of Ireland to the Slovak Republic delivered his keynote address with an announcement inviting participants to IMID’s 2nd annual global conference in Galway, Ireland in 2024. The awards ceremony was conducted by Dr. Palina Louangketh, Founder and Executive Director of the IMID with support from additional IMID leadership – Dr. Sascha Priewe, Director of Collections & Public Programs at Aga Khan Museum and Founding Member and Chair, IMID Global Leadership Council; and Elke Shaw-Tulloch, Chair, IMID Board of Directors, State Health Official, and Administrator, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Division of Public Health.


Please join us in recognizing this year’s 2023 HEART Award recipients: Andy Bale, Jon Cox, Sera Koulabdara, Faculty of Arts at Matej Bel University, and Dr. Anna Slatinská. Congratulations to our outstanding partners!


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