Event and Museum Passes and Transport

Project Details by Fiscal Year
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Lake of the Woods
St. Louis
Lake of the Woods
St. Louis
Project Overview

The Event and Museum Passes and Transport Activity kicked off with the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra (DSSO) providing ensemble music “Music for You” programs in 10 public libraries and 2 schools. Many of the activities were held in the main part of the library, and patrons coming into the library to check out books or to do research would stop and listen to the music. At least one patron stopped reading the newspaper to listen to the music.

Duos and Quartets provided one hour concerts which mesmerized babies, excited teens to ask questions about the instruments, and gave grandparents the opportunity to relive past memories, especially when music from old movies was played. Music from the Wizard of Oz seemed to bring back the most memories.

Patrons coming into the libraries to listen to the DSSO Ensembles saw the museum and event passes displayed prominently on racks. Patrons could check out the “free admission” passes to attend a DSSO children’s concert, 3 Duluth Symphony concerts, 2 regional concerts (one in Hibbing and one in Virginia) for adults, a chamber music concert, a one-man circus program in International Falls and a play in Grand Rapids from a popular children’s book.

A bus trip was organized with stops at libraries Mountain Iron, Virginia, Eveleth, and Gilbert to provide transportation for people who lived more than 50 miles from the venue for the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra’s children’s concert.

A bus trip was organized from Mountain Iron, with stops in International Falls, Silver Bay, Two Harbors, Duluth, and Cloquet to the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Russian Museum.

Museums and historical societies in 6 counties in northeastern Minnesota are being promoted at 25 public libraries. When patrons check out the free event and museum passes, they get a “free admission ticket” that allows them to attend the event or visit the museum. The patron fills out a survey question on the “free ticket” asking them how many times they have attended the event venue or museum in the past. The event or museum collects the “free ticket” and sends it with an invoice to the Arrowhead Library System. Most of the events and museums have provided a reduced rate.

460 children, teens, and adults attended DSSO Music to You programs at 10 public libraries and 2 schools.

1,593 children, teens, and adults attended 9 events in 5 cities in northeastern Minnesota.
378 people (24%) had never attended an event as the same venue previously.

17,436 library patrons have visited 17 museums and historical societies. (70,681 tickets have been checked out from 25 libraries for 17 museums and historical societies).
6,696 people (38%) had never gone to that museum or historical society previously.

22 adults and children rode the bus to the Lollipop Concert in Duluth. 8 families riding the bus had never attended a Lollipop concert before. 7 families rode the bus because it was free. (1 family had an income under $25,000). 3 families rode the bus to be with friends. 1 family rode the bus because 7 people will not fit in a car.

54 people rode the bus to the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Russian Museum.
39 people had never been to these museums prior to this visit.
44 people plan to visit an art museum in the future.
47 people will ride the bus again to an event. 32 rode the bus because it was free. 26 people rode the bus because they do not like to drive in the Twin Cities.

Project Details

Event Dates and Locations: February 3, 2010 to September 24, 2010 (and ongoing until May 30, 2011). Museums and Events are located in the following cities.Chisholm, Cloquet, Duluth, Ely, Esko, Finland, Hibbing, Grand Marais, Grand Rapids, International Falls, Silver Bay, Tofte, and Two Harbors.

  • The Arrowhead Regional Arts Council provided contact information for some of the museums.
  • The Reif Center provided reduced rates on seats and saved 500 of its 640 seat theater for library patrons.
  • The DSSO provided input on outcomes for the evaluations; they opened up the venue to accommodate more library patrons for the children’s Lollipop Concert; and they have saved seats for library patrons at other concerts and provided reduced rates.
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Measurable Outcomes may be collected by survey, anecdotal responses, post-test;End user change in Behavior, Attitude, Skills, Knowledge, Condition and/or Status

Measurable Outcome(s)
  • One mother at the DSSO Ensemble Program at the Virginia Public Library was heard saying, "I don't think my kids have ever seen anyone play the violin before.  This is great."
  • Several people who have season tickets for the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra (DSSO) said that it was marvelous to hear the DSSO in a different venue.  The person was attending the Music to You Program in International Falls Public Library.
  • A patron who attended the Hibbing Concert, Girl Singers of the Hit Parade, said that "she and her long-time friends are always looking for affordable outings. The Pass program made it so affordable that they also invited their mothers to attend the concert with them.  She said it was great fun to see all of them tapping their fingers along to the music, and to see their two generations enjoying the concert together."
  • A patron who has season tickets to the concert series in International Falls commented that "the best part was listening to the laughter and response of the children, some very young, who laughed and giggled and were infectious."  Many older adults at that program, Circus INcognitus, commented on the wonderful laughter of the children and how much fun it was watching the children enjoying the circus act.  It was truly an intergenerational activity. 
  • One parent took her three boys to see Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing at the Reif Center in Grand Rapids.  "Her youngest boy was so totally taken by the character Fudge he has renamed himself Fudge!  The family is now keeping an eye on him so he doesn't try to fly or eat the pet turtle.  The oldest son was pleased to find that someone had written a story about what a pain it is to be the older brother of kids like Fudge."
  • One attendee at the Lollipop Concert commented, "This is great!  My husband is laid-off, and I could never afford to bring kids here without free tickets from the library."
  • A patron who attend the DSSO Chorus Live commented, "I would not have seen even a 'mini' opera if I hadn't had this opportunity.  The value of the program:  EXCELLENT!  I hope programs of this type continue."
  • A bus riding patron wrote on her survey, "We all say thank you so very much.  It was wonderful and so relaxing to have a bus."  This family noted on the paper survey that by attending the Lollipop Concert, the children learned appropriate symphony behavior and what a conductor does
  • Patrons checking out museum and historical society passes have told library staff, "We're planning on taking advantage of the museum pass program for a family outing each month."  Some patrons have said they are planning their vacations around visiting the museums.
  • A citizen came to the Aurora Public Library to get a library card, "because he wanted to check out tickets to the Aquarium so he could take his young daughter on a father-daughter outing.  (In February 2010, Aurora Library registered 22 new borrowers.  In February 2009, Aurora Library registered 18 new borrowers).
  • One mother told the librarian " that she has 5 children, all of whom are autistic, and that finding things for them to do as a family that they can afford is very difficult.  She really appreciated being able to come check out museum tickets at the library."

Written surveys were collected from the patrons who rode the bus to the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Russian Museum.  Patron comments included:"Seeing all those BC and 17th Century Art really made me stop to think how many talented people lived in those early years."  "Before today I was aware of art...but now I have experienced it, a wonderful thing."  "I never saw video art before." (Referring to the featured exhibit, Until Now: Collecting the New (1960-2010)   "More knowledge of variety of mediums.  I got ideas for my own art."  "I was surprised that the exquisite Russian laquerware is still being painted today.  Pleased that peasant life was documented in oils in the 60's,70's, and 80's in very well done ways."

Administered By
Administered by

1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville, MN 55113-4266