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Leslie Chang Jantz, the curator of education at UT’s McClung Museum, has received the Tennessee Association of Museums’ 2017 Emerging Museum Professional award.

The award recognizes emerging professionals with less than five years of service in the museum field who have distinguished themselves by showing exceptional promise in the field.

Chang Jantz joined the museum as curator of education in 2016 after working and volunteering at major national museums including the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the University of Kansas Spencer Art Museum, and the Knoxville Museum of Art.

She is responsible for the museum’s PreK–12 educational programming and family programming, including innovative community events like the 2016 Maya Festival, which also won a TAM Award of Excellence for an Educational Program.

The festival was part of programming for special exhibition, Maya: Lords of Time exhibit. The event brought together members of Knoxville’s local Maya community to present traditional music, dance, food, and textile arts as a Family Fun Day event.

Activities and presentations— including Maya musicians playing marimba music, dancers, weaving, traditional textile demonstrations, and tastings of traditional Maya food and the chocolate drink atole—helped visitors learn about the local Maya community and to connect ancient Maya culture with the modern bearers of that culture.

TAM’s annual awards recognize, encourage, and promote excellence within the activities of the Tennessee Museum community. Awards are based on creativity, originality, resourcefulness, success, support of museum mission statement, and utilization of staff and volunteers.

The McClung Museum is at 1327 Circle Park Drive. Museum admission is free, and the museum’s hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Free two-hour museum parking passes are available from the parking kiosk at the entrance to Circle Park Drive during the week. Free parking is available on the weekends. Free public transportation to the museum is available via the Knoxville Trolley Vol Line.

See the museum’s website for more information about family programming, parking, and collections and exhibits.

C O N T A C T:

Leslie Chang Jantz (865-974-3662,

Catherine Shteynberg (865-974-6921,