Sydney McArthur Awarded Melanie A. Townsend Scholarship for Museum and Curatorial Studies

London, ON (Thursday, May 4) 

On May 3rd, Museum London awarded the inaugural Melanie A. Townsend Scholarship for Museum and Curatorial Studies, $2,500, to Sydney McArthur. This award assists students at Western University who demonstrate exceptional dedication to museum studies. The second scholarship is the Steve Mavers Scholarship for Arts Education, $2,500, and is awarded to Orko Oyon (above, right). This is awarded to students in Arts Education who are poised to make an impact in the field of arts education and in the lives of learners of all ages.

The scholarship honours Melanie Townsend — Head of Exhibitions and Collections at Museum London from 2004 to 2018. Melanie Townsend made valuable contributions to the organization and the visual arts community in London and across Canada. The team at Museum London and artists and colleagues across Canada remember Melanie for her insightful and original curatorial work and her sense of humour. Industrious and down-to-earth, Melanie believed in the importance of cultural institutions to critically engage audiences through contemporary art and through investigation of cultural artifacts to foster a deeper understanding of history. Sydney, who recently completed a Bachelor’s degree, Honours Specialization in Art History and Museum/Curatorial Studies at Western, was selected for her impressive academic achievements, volunteerism, and range of art-related experiences and interests, such as equity, outreach, and sustainability. We also thank Melanie’s husband, artist Dr. Troy David Ouellette, Dr. Kirsty Robertson of Western University, and all the contributors (from to GoFundMe campaign and
beyond) to the Scholarship for their generosity.

Steve Mavers Scholarship for Arts Education The scholarship was created in memory of Steve Mavers, a beloved team member who served as Curator of Education at Museum London for 18 years and made a significant impact before his death in 2021. In his memory, community donations were collected to create a scholarship to support students at Western who are poised to make an impact in the field of arts education and in the lives of learners of all ages. This award is one way Steve’s passion for arts education and Museum London lives on! Steve was committed to life-long learning and at the time of his passing, he was pursuing a Doctorate in Education at Western University, while working full-time. Steve posthumously and prestigiously received his Doctor of Education Degree in Educational Leadership from Western University in recognition of his lifelong dedication to the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge. Orko Oyon is the inaugural recipient of this $2,500 scholarship. Orko is a passionate music educator and musician. A recent graduate of the Don Wright Faculty of Music, he received his Honors in Music Education degree with the Governor General's Silver Medal and the Alumni Gold Medal in Music. To continue his studies, Orko is currently working towards his Bachelor of Education at Western University. His main inspirations were his high school music teachers who fostered environments dedicated to positivity, encouragement, and improvement. His interest in music education and pedagogy focus on inclusive listening and performance practices through the lens of social justice. Orko advocates for integrating technology into the music classroom – something that resonated with the selection committee — as did his track record of community involvement.