Columbia Museum of Art’s Binder podcast wins gold

Southeastern Museums Conference technology award received in recognition of innovative use of media production

3 mins read

Columbia, S.C. – The Columbia Museum of Art is pleased to announce it is a recipient of the 2022 Southeastern Museums Conference Gold Award for Media Production for its podcast, Binder. The SEMC Technology Competition recognizes excellence in the use of technology within Southeastern museums and celebrates the accomplishments of innovative work.

Launched in 2021 and currently in its second season, Binder podcast uses art as a catalyst to talk about big ideas, bringing people together through complex conversations and personal stories. Hosted by CMA writer-in-residence Ray McManus and produced by CMA Senior Multimedia Producer Drew Baron, Binder offers audio storytelling that seeks connections in ideas and art with a diversity of perspectives presented through interviews, storytelling, poetry readings, and music. Each episode explores how artists, writers, scholars, community members, and museums interpret a central theme. Through the inclusion of multiple voices from around the corner and around the world, Binder aims to empower the listener to come to their own interpretations, emphasizing a philosophy of not seeking the “right answer” about what an artwork is but instead encouraging audiences to look for a personal connection with it.

“Binder podcast was conceived in a time when people felt disconnected,” says CMA Deputy Director Joelle Ryan-Cook. “In its inaugural year, it has served as a bright light for the team of staff, artists, and community guests, who all share a curiosity about the world, creative expression, and human connection. With the release of every episode, we at the CMA are proud of the conversations and explorations being had in the welcoming space that Ray fosters as host and Drew creates as producer, and we hope listeners find it enlightening, entertaining, and uplifting. Now we can further celebrate with this recognition from our colleagues in the museum field.”

As technology continues to gain importance throughout the museum field, expectations and standards were exceptionally high for this year’s applicants. The SEMC Technology Competition received a record-breaking number of applications from a wide variety of museums across the Southeast.

Winning entries were expected to demonstrate innovation, effective design, accessibility, creativity, and recognition of institutional identity. Recipients of the awards were judged by an appointed jury of museum professionals across the region who specialize in the fields of digital media and technology.

Award winners will be celebrated at the 2022 Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony on October 26, 2022, in Rogers, Arkansas, as well as in the fall 2022 edition of INSIDE SEMC, a digital publication of the conference. This designation recognizes the CMA’s contribution to professional standards in Southeastern museums.

New episodes of Binder podcast release monthly.

For more information, visit

Michael Bailey works as a multimedia journalist who specializes in producing news stories and personal profiles that highlight the cultural, social, economic, and political experiences of minorities living in South Carolina and beyond. His extensive media, business, and political background has made him a well-respected voice and an often sought-after commentator on issues impacting people of color.

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