National Comedy Center “Best New Museum” in the Country
The National Comedy Center, the nation’s official cultural institution and state-of-the-art museum dedicated to comedy as an art form, was named the “Best New Museum” in the country by USA Today as part of the 2020 USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards.
The National Comedy Center was one of 20 new museums nominated for the award by a panel of nationally-recognized travel journalists, tourism experts and USA Today editors for this USA Today travel award series, which celebrates outstanding destinations, attractions and experiences. All of the nominees were museums that opened over the past two years, including art galleries, science museums and children’s museums in cities across the United States and Canada, including Dallas, New Orleans, St. Louis, Seattle, New York City, St. Petersburg, FL , St. Paul, MN and Edmonton, Alberta. The Comedy Center was selected as the #1 museum in the “Best New Museum” category by popular vote after a four-week voting period from January 20 through February 17, 2020.
Reimagining the museum experience
The National Comedy Center is the United States’ official cultural institution and museum dedicated to presenting the vital story of comedy and preserving its heritage for future generations, as formally designated by the U.S. Congress in 2019. Opened in August 2018 in Jamestown, New York, the museum complex offers an unprecedented visitor experience, using state-of-the-art technology, interactivity and personalization to create the first true 21st Century museum environment. JRA provided complete master planning, museum exhibit design, executive media production, art direction, and project management for the National Comedy Center.
“We are tremendously proud to be named the Best New Museum in the United States and Canada,” said Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center Executive Director. “We have reimagined the museum experience with immersive exhibit design and unprecedented personalization. This distinction is a testament to the significance of comedy, and talented comedic artists, to our culture and our daily lives.”
“Our visitors — from all 50 states and 18 countries — already know what a must-see destination the Comedy Center is,” added Gunderson. “We look forward to welcoming thousands more comedy fans from across the country and around the world to the Best New Museum, here in Jamestown, New York.”
“The National Comedy Center team is grateful for the incredible support from our local community, the entire Western New York region, and from comedy fans across the country, all of whom voted for the Comedy Center to receive this national recognition and high honor” said Tom Benson, National Comedy Center project chairman. “It’s tremendous validation of the hard work and vision of our staff and board, our partner organizations, and our community, who believed in this project and worked tirelessly to make it happen.”
“One of my favorite places in the world”
“The National Comedy Center is one of my favorite places in the world, and I am thrilled that everyone will now know what I already knew — it is absolutely the best new museum in the country. It’s an extraordinary showplace for all things comedic — and interactive from the moment you walk in. I promise you will smile from beginning to end. Now that the Comedy Center is officially the country’s Best New Museum, you need to make plans to visit. You won’t be disappointed,” said Lewis Black, comedian, actor, author and National Comedy Center Advisory Board member.
New York State Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, “We are very excited that USA Today readers chose the National Comedy Center as the best new museum in the US and Canada. Anyone who loves comedy should plan a pilgrimage to this world-class, one-of-a-kind attraction as part of a New York State vacation that includes nearby destinations like the Lucy Desi Museum, the Chautauqua Institution, Panama Rocks and Niagara Falls.”
In early 2019, the National Comedy Center was nominated for the USA Today Readers’ Choice “Best New Attraction” award, where it was voted #2 out of 20 new attractions by USA Today readers and chosen as the #1 museum and #1 ticketed attraction in the USA Today poll.
Four other JRA-designed projects received 2020 USA Today 10Best Readers Choice accolades: