Photo caption: Christina Shutt, executive director of Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
The Katie Hall Educational Foundation, Inc., announced it will award its 2023 Co-Katie Hall Public Service Award to Christina Shutt, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM), in Springfield, Illinois, for her creative, devoted, and innovative public service.
Shutt is the first, and currently the only, African American serving in an Executive Leadership role at any of America’s fifteen presidential libraries.
The 2023 award will be presented during a luncheon on April 15 at St. Timothy Community Church Fellowship Hall, 1600 W. 25th Ave., Gary.
The Co-Katie Hall Public Service Award is an annual award recognizing individuals for their public service efforts in the spirit of Indiana’s first African American member of Congress, Katie Hall.
The award honors individuals who have accepted the responsibilities imposed by public service to their community and who exhibit a willingness to “be the change that they want to see,” along with a commitment to the principle of selflessly serving humanity.
After a national search, Shutt formally assumed the executive leadership position of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in June 2021. Since then, she has overseen the installation of a new exhibit in the ALPLM’s library building, worked with legislators to transform the position of Illinois State Historian to focus on underrepresented history, launched community outreach efforts to make the institution more welcoming and inclusive, accepted the donation of an important, handwritten President Lincoln letter, and hosted the signing ceremony to make Juneteenth an official state holiday in Illinois.
Previously Shutt was executive director for the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the African American Museum of History and Culture for the State of Arkansas. Under Shutt’s leadership, the Center saw significant increases in visitor attendance, and fundraising and exhibition development, with her co-curated exhibit “Don’t Touch My Crown,” winning the 2019 Arkansas Museums Association Award for Outstanding Exhibition.
Her innovative and collaborative leadership resulted in the Center being awarded first-time national museum accreditation, a distinction only three percent of museums hold nationally.
Shutt also served as Associate Librarian for Special Collections and Instruction at Hendrix College and as archivist for notable collections ranging from the history of medicine at Harvard University to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., papers at Boston University.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Central Methodist University and holds two masters degrees in Library Science/Archival Management and History from Simmons University.
The Katie Hall Educational Foundation, Inc., has awarded the Katie Hall Public Service Award annually since 2013. Previous recipients include: Former Gary Mayor Richard Gordon Hatcher; former U.S. Senator Richard G. Lugar (R-IN), 40th President of the United States of America Ronald Reagan; Reverend Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO, The King Center; Gary Crusader Publisher Dorothy R. Leavell; and former Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson.
“The Foundation is delighted and ecstatic to present Ms. Shutt with our highest award. Her unique approach to executive leadership and public service at the Presidential Library and Museum in honor of President Lincoln, who gave hope to millions of enslaved Africans during his lifetime with the authorship of the Emancipation Proclamation, Gettysburg Address, and the Resolution drafted prior to the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, is extremely worthy of this award,” said Junifer Hall, JD, Katie Hall Educational Foundation’s Chairman and CEO.
Additional awardees for the April 15 luncheon are: U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-IN); Indiana University Northwest Chancellor Ken Iwama; and Indiana State Representative Dr. Vernon G. Smith (14th House District).
The Annual Katie Hall Public Service Awards Luncheon is the Spring fundraiser of the Katie Hall Educational Foundation, Inc. For tickets and corporate or individual sponsorship information, contact the law office of Attorney John Henry Hall at (219) 883-7711 or [email protected].
Established in 2013, the Katie Hall Educational Foundation, Inc., is a 501c3 non-profit organization. The Foundation’s purpose is to promote educational programming to the general public, especially students in grades 3-12, with its Harriet Tubman Essay Contest and the “U.S. Representative Katie Hall at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Signing Ceremony” postcard, and other educational related programming.