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For Immediate Release
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

CHICAGO—On March 14, the Art Institute of Chicago's JourneyMaker, a new digital interactive that empowers families to create their own one-of-a-kind journeys in the museum, won a 2017 SXSW Interactive Innovation Award for best Visual Media Experience. Produced by the departments of Learning and Public Engagement and Digital Experience, JourneyMaker turns the process of planning—and taking—a family visit to the museum into a fun adventure. Parents often see art museums as places filled with beautiful things that children can’t touch, but JourneyMaker gives families great ideas to connect with art in open-ended ways in the galleries with a unique blend of digital and physical interaction. With 260,000 possible journey combinations, the museum is never the same place twice. Since its launch in August 2016, visitors have created over 10,000 journeys, giving families from all over the world the opportunity to discover something new at the Art Institute with every visit.

Jacqueline Terrassa, Woman’s Board Endowed Chair of Learning and Public Engagement, shared: "We are thrilled to be chosen for this award from such an impressive field of international nominees. Our team looks forward to continuing to find new intersections of technology and experience that make it possible for everyone to feel empowered and inspired to explore our galleries and to actively make their own meaning through the museum."

Winning a SXSW Interactive Innovation Award is a true honor that recognizes and speaks to the core of the Art Institute’s mission to make its permanent collection more accessible, relevant, and engaging for families. The awards celebrate the incredible speakers, trends, innovations, and ideas that are brought to Austin each year. Among hundreds of applications submitted, the SXSW panel of judges chose JourneyMaker to compete against four other finalists in the category of Visual Media Experience. There were 13 total categories (65 finalists) in the 2017 SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards.

As an inclusive and global museum that promotes equitable participation in creative and critical engagement with art, the Art Institute aims to enhance its encyclopedic collection with digital tools like JourneyMaker that give a broad audience the chance to connect with art and our world.

JourneyMaker, courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Generous support for JourneyMaker is provided by the Woman's Board of the Art Institute of Chicago.