The Neon Museum’s storyteller wins national award
Binnie Tate Wilkin shares stories of museum’s collection with Clark County students, recognized by the National Storytelling Network with Regional Excellence Award
The Neon Museum announces that Binnie Tate Wilkin, the official storyteller for the museum’s “My Las Vegas” program in 2020, has been awarded the 2021 Regional Excellence ORACLE Award by the National Storytelling Network (NSN). The award recognizes the creativity, professional integrity, and artistic contributions of storytellers who have greatly enriched the storytelling culture of their region. The ORACLE Awards were founded in 1995 by NSN, and this year, only eleven recipients nationwide were recognized.
The Neon Museum’s “My Las Vegas” outreach program enables students at Title I schools in Southern Nevada to learn about museum’s collection and the important role stories and museums play in preserving community memories. Since 2016, The Neon Museum’s “My Las Vegas” program has served over 7,000 students at more than a dozen different Clark County schools in coordination with the CCSD School-Community Partnership Program. It is sponsored by NV Energy.
In 2020, the program transitioned to a virtual model with Wilkin’s storytelling provided by video with suggested class activities and story book recommendations to more than 430 students at numerous valley elementary schools, including Thomas, Ortwein, Herron, Odyssey Charter, Priest, Alamo, Rowe, Cortez,
Beckley, Cox, Detweiler, Bowler, Peterson, Bunker, McMillan, Dailey, Antonello, and Doris French. In addition, more than 250 teachers throughout the Clark County School District requested the videos, expanding the reach of the program to at least 5,000 students across the valley.
Throughout her career, storytelling has been Wilkin’s forte. During and after a long tenure in public libraries, she taught storytelling at major universities, including Columbia University and the University of California at Berkeley and Los Angeles. As children’s specialist for the Los Angeles City Library, she was applauded for creative story programs and recognized for use of movement and dance with stories. Currently, she teaches a course in storytelling for the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ Office of Lifelong Learning.
Recipients on the National Storytelling Network’s Oracle Awards are nominated by members of NSN and selected by an Awards Committee. The National Storytelling Network, headquartered in Kansas City, MO, is a membership organization for anyone interested in the art and practice of storytelling. For more information about the awards and 2021 recipients, visit www.storynet.org.
ABOUT THE NEON MUSEUM:
Founded in 1996, The Neon Museum is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying, and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, historic, arts and cultural enrichment. It has been ranked No. 1 in Las Vegas Weekly’s list of “Twenty Greatest Attractions in Las Vegas History,” one of “Sin City’s Best Retro Sites” by MSN, “No. 1 Las Vegas Museum Sure to Entertain and Educate” by USA Today’s 10best.com, “One of the Top 10 Coolest Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do” by Forbes.com, one of the “Top 10 Historic Spots in Las Vegas” by Vegas.com; one of “15 Most Fascinating Museums in the U.S.” by VacationIdea.com; and earns a consistent 4.5 out of 5 rating on TripAdvisor. On its 2.27-acre campus, The Neon Museum houses an outdoor exhibition space known as the Neon Boneyard (“boneyard” is traditionally the name for an area where items no longer in use are stored); the North Gallery, home to the immersive audiovisual spectacle “Brilliant!” which uses technology advances to re-illuminate more than 40 non-operational signs; the Boulevard Gallery outdoor exhibit and event space; and its visitors’ center, housed inside the former La Concha Motel lobby. The museum collection also includes nine restored signs installed as public art throughout downtown Las Vegas. Public education, outreach, research, and arts preservation represent a selection of the museum’s ongoing projects. The museum is located at 770 N. Las Vegas Blvd. in Las Vegas. For more information, including tour schedules and tickets, visit www.neonmuseum.org. Also follow @NeonMuseum on Facebook and Twitter and @theneonmuseumlasvegas on Instagram.