American Alliance of Museums honors The California Museum’s “Health Happens Here” with “Excellence in Exhibition” award

Press release

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — May 29, 2013: On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, The California Museum’s “Health Happens Here” exhibit received an “Excellence in Exhibition” award at the American Alliance of Museum’s 25th annual national conference, held in Baltimore, MD. One of four award winners, the exhibit was recognized for “Special Distinction in Messaging and Engagement.”

“On behalf of The California Museum staff and Board of Trustees, thank you to the American Alliance of Museums for distinguishing our work in ‘Health Happens Here’ with this prestigious award,” said Richard S. Costigan III, Chair of The California Museum Board of Trustees. “And, thank you to The California Endowment for sponsoring the exhibit. We are honored to be included with the three other awardees and thrilled that our efforts to educate, enlighten and inspire visitors with California history, arts and culture have been recognized on a national level.”

Developed in partnership with The California Endowment over a two year period, “Health Happens Here” is an innovative, interactive exhibit that opened on October 16, 2012. Seeking to redefine conceptions of health beyond doctors, diet and exercise, the exhibit is based on 2010 statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and Measure of America’s Human Development research, which revealed discrepancies in average life expectancies between California communities and connections to key factors, such as food access, urban sprawl, public education, civic participation, sustainable community-building, social equity and environmental issues.

Designed by West Office Exhibition Design, the exhibit features innovative, kid-friendly games and videos displayed at 10 interactive stations where visitors can determine life expectancy in their zip code and examine key factors that can predict how long and how well residents live. For example, in “Fight Blight,” visitors discover how streets, houses, schools, sidewalks, streetlights, businesses, freeways and parks can affect their health. In “Stop the Glop,” visitors are challenged to create the healthiest lunch at a virtual school cafeteria that will best support the nutritional needs of a growing student. At the exhibit’s conclusion, visitors may convert points collected from playing games into a cash donation to their choice of 10 organizations helping to make health happen across the state.

“As a non-profit institution, the Museum is dedicated to educating and inspiring visitors with the state’s history and culture of innovation,” said Dori Moorehead, Executive Director of The California Museum. “‘Health Happens Here’ has helped us further our mission by redefining the concept of health in the present to create healthier Californians in the future. We are thrilled that the exhibit’s emphasis on messaging and community engagement has been nationally recognized by the American Alliance of Museums.”

In addition to the physical installation at the Museum, many of the games and videos featured in the exhibit are available online at The exhibit, a part of the Museum’s signature programming, is ongoing and continues through December 31, 2014. For more information, visit



A self-supporting 501(c)3 non-profit institution, The California Museum — home of the California Hall of Fame — engages, educates and enlightens people about California’s rich history and unique contributions to the world through ideas, innovation, the arts and culture. Through interactive and innovative experiences, the Museum inspires visitors to dream the California dream and dares them to make a mark on history. Open Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun.: 12 p.m.-5 p.m. Closed Mon. (except on federal holidays). Admission: adults $8.50; college students & seniors $7 with valid ID; youth 6-17: $6; children 5 & under free. For more information, visit


Interviews available by request.

Press images available at:

“Health Happens Here” media kit available for download with registered media account at:


Brenna Hamilton
Communications & Marketing Director
(916) 651-0934