Distinguished Service Award: ChromaDiverse, Inc.

ChromaDiverse, Inc., is the 2022 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes an archives institution, education program, nonprofit organization, or government organization that has given outstanding service to its public and has made an exemplary contribution to the archives profession.

ChromaDiverse is a nonprofit that offers software as a service to help performing arts organizations preserve, protect, and monetize their archival materials, including photos, videos, films, documents, press, posters, music, and playbills. Through their Smart Capture program, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML), meta-data can be accurately harvested from printed performance programs—a task that is notoriously time-and labor-intensive. The data can then populate their Digital Vault, another offering by ChromaDiverse, making access to information seamless and powerful.

ChromaDiverse is singularly pioneering this technology, making it faster, better, and less expensive for all dance companies to create a living archive.

The SAA Awards Committee was impressed by ChromaDiverse’s outstanding service to the performance arts community by providing cost-effective solutions. The Company’s dedication to diversity protects multicultural arts groups from social and artistic erasure.

As Imogen Smith, director of Archiving and Preservation at Dance/USA, writes in her letter of support, “ChromaDiverse deserves recognition for their innovative approach to assisting dance and cultural organizations with preserving, organizing, and accessing their digital archives, and for their commitment to increasing equity by lowering barriers for access to archiving services and resources.”

ChromaDiverse’s cofounder and CEO, Judy Tyrus, received SAA’s 2021 Diversity Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions in advancing diversity within the archives profession, SAA, or the archival record. In 2022, she was appointed to serve on SAA’s Diversity Committee.

SAA’s Distinguished Service Award was established in 1964. Previous recipients include the Knox County Archives; Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando, Florida; the New England Archivists Mentoring Program; and the Council of State Archivists.