Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology News
WKU Folk Studies MA Alumnus Tommy Hines Wins Kentucky Historical Society Award
- Monday, November 9th, 2020
On Friday November 6th, the Kentucky Historical Society awarded WKU Folk Studies MA alumnus Tommy Hines ('86) with the Frank R. Levstik Award for Professional Service. The KHS writes that this award “is presented to a current or recently retired (within the last two years) paid staff member of a museum, historical society, genealogical society or other history-related organization in Kentucky who has demonstrated exemplary work and dedication to their institution. Their work must have been instrumental in raising the overall professionalism of history organizations and museums in Kentucky through participation and leadership roles in organizations or been in active service to other organizations through workshops, presentations, research, publications or other activities.”
Tommy Hines is the Executive Director of South Union Shaker Village in Logan County, where he has served since graduating from the Folk Studies MA program in 1986. South Union is an independent, non-profit institution focused on historic preservation and education. Hines is also a board member for the Kentucky Museum and Heritage Alliance and the Green River Heritage Society. The Kentucky Historical Society shares, “Tommy’s service to his region and to the history of South Union Shaker Village exemplify the basis of the Frank R. Levstik award.”
In a video accepting his award, Hines credits the advancements of South Union during his 34-year tenure to the various board and faculty members with whom he has worked. He states, “We have gone from owning 2 buildings and 2 acres to 9 buildings and 500 acres.” Originally South Union offered school tours and candle-dipping demonstrations, but now the goal is to educate visitors about more “serious topics,” such as the importance of diversity and female leadership in the Shaker communities. Hines adds “We talk more about stories now.”
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