Firearms Curator Ashley Hlebinsky Earns Major Shooting Sports Award

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The Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation(NSSF) have named firearms curator Ashley Hlebinsky of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West its recipient of the annual Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award for 2017.

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Curator Ashley Hlebinsky, Cody Firearms Museum

...her knowledge of firearms and the firearms industry is extraordinary, as well as her command of the delicate issues surrounding firearms use...

Cody Firearms Museum Curator Ashley Hlebinsky of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West has been awarded the Professional Outdoor Media Association’s (POMA) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s (NSSF) annual Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award for 2017. The prestigious honor recognizes achievements in communications in the areas of responsible firearms use, the shooting sports, and hunting. Hlebinsky accepted the award Tuesday, January 18 during the 2017 Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show®) State of the Industry Dinner in Las Vegas.

“The entire POMA organization is excited to honor Ashley for her contribution as a firearms communicator, historian, and expert analyst in the media. She also will proudly add her own piece of history as the first female to receive this prestigious award,” said Kevin L Orthman, Executive Director of POMA. “The Grits Gresham Award is one of the highest awards POMA gives out each year, and Ashley is a great example of someone who has spent her career changing the face of firearms in the media, and preserving the history and legacies of some of the greatest firearms in the world.”

POMA and the NSSF developed the Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award in 2005, when NSSF honored Gresham with a lifetime achievement award. The award recognizes communicators within the firearms arena who grasp the ideals, foster the commitment, and display the talent the late Grits Gresham exhibited during his storied career as an internationally known American sportsman, author, photographer, and television personality who hosted ABC’s "The American Sportsman" series from 1966 to 1979.

“From Ashley’s first stint as a Research Fellow here at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, she was the ideal representative for the Cody Firearms Museum,” Bruce Eldredge, the Center’s Executive Director and CEO explained. “Now, as curator, her knowledge of firearms and the firearms industry is extraordinary, as well as her command of the delicate issues surrounding firearms use in our country. Ashley continues to foster relationships throughout the museum world, the Cody area, and the firearms industry. The Center of the West heartily congratulate Ashley on this award and the POMA for recognizing her remarkable contribution.”

In January 2015, the Center of the West appointed Hlebinsky the Robert W. Woodruff Curator of the Cody Firearms Museum where she now manages a collection of 7,000 historic firearms and 30,000 firearms-related objects. In addition, Hlebinsky lectures around the country and in Canada to both the firearms industry and the academic community on the glamorization and stigmatization of firearms both in modern culture and in museums. She is also a freelance writer and has appeared on both national and international television networks.

Stay up to date with all the Center’s activities at its website, centerofthewest.org.

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Since 1917, the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, has devoted itself to sharing the story of the authentic American West. The Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is currently operating its winter schedule, open Thursday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., closed Monday – Wednesday. For additional information, visit the Center's website or its pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

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Ashley Hlebinsky
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