The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center Explorer Award Dinner at BPL
The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center Explorer Award Dinner was held on Friday, February 1st, for over 300 guests in the historic McKim Building at the Boston Public Library. Mayor Thomas Menino graciously accepted the 2013 Explorer Medal from Map Center founder Norman Leventhal during a rousing standing ovation. It was one of the Mayor’s first public appearances since his recent hospitalization. The award was created in 2011 and first presented to documentary filmmaker Ken Burns. Co-chaired by Alan Leventhal of Beacon Capital Partners (son of Norman Leventhal), and David Long of Liberty Mutual Insurance, the benefit dinner raised $1 million for education programs, teacher training, curriculum guides, and lesson plans at the Map Center.
The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center was created in 2004 as a public-private partnership between the Boston Public Library and Norman B. Leventhal. The goal of the partnership was to create broad public access to the library’s extraordinary collection of 200,000 maps and 5,000 atlases dating from the 15th century to the present. The collection is ranked among the top ten in the United States. In 2011 the Leventhal Map Center Gallery and Learning Center opened to the public on the first floor of the library’s McKim Building in Copley Square. Featuring changing exhibitions, a Kids Map Club, and a research reading room, over 72,000 have visited the new space.