Museo de Arte de Ponce Recognized as a 2021 Recipient of Nation’s Highest Museum and Library Honor

National Medal for Museum and Library Service Recognizes Puerto Rico’s Museo de Arte de Ponce Community Contributions 

Ponce, Puerto Rico—The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced Museo de Arte de Ponce in Ponce, Puerto Rico, today as one of six recipients of the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. The award celebrates institutions that are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities. Museo de Arte de Ponce is the first museum and only the second institution in Puerto Rico to receive the National Medal in the program’s 27-year history.

 The Museo de Arte de Ponce represents a pillar within Puerto Rico’s artistic and cultural landscape. The museum is anon-profit organization founded in 1959, recognized worldwide for its important collection of European art that attracts the interest of a variety of art enthusiasts around the world. The permanent collection, which encompasses a wide range of artworks, has provided the means to develop a diverse community outreach program to foster curiosity, enhance awareness and contribute to the well being of its community.

“It is an honor and pleasure to honor these six recipients of the 2021 National Medal of Museum and Library Service,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “Through their programs, services, and community relationships, these institutions exemplify the ongoing excellence of our nations’ museums and libraries across the country, as well as their extraordinary efforts this past year to serve, heal, and bring us together. We look forward to celebrating them, as well as paying tribute to the hardworking staff at all American museums and libraries this summer.”

Selected from 30 national finalists, the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners represent institutions that provide dynamic programming and services that exceed expected levels of service. Through their community outreach, these institutions bring about change that touches the lives of individuals and helps communities thrive.

“We feel honored to receive the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The Museo de Arte de Ponce was created as a tool to enhance the lives of the people of Puerto Rico. During the past few years, and especially throughout the difficult challenges that our island has had to face, we have made it our priority to work tirelessly to provide an inclusive space for self-expression, encourage dialogue and restore the vigor of our community. This renowned recognition reaffirms our commitment to continue serving our public with the best of our resources,” informed Alejandra Peña – Gutiérrez, Executive Director of Museo de Arte de Ponce.

The award will be presented at a virtual ceremony in July. For a complete list of 2021 recipients and to learn more about the National Medal winners, visit the IMLS website.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Museo de Arte de Ponce

The Museo de Arte de Ponce is a non-profit organization, founded in 1959 by Luis A. Ferré (1904-2003) and credited by the American Alliance of Museums since 1987. The institution is recognized worldwide as an important center of European art in America, and continues to offer its visitors a rich panorama of Western art, from the end of the Middle Ages to the dawn of the twentieth century. For six decades, the Museum has spurred in the areas of research, conservation and education, connecting the community and its visitors with the arts.