Partner: Minnesota Indian Affairs Council
American Indian undergraduate students from across Minnesota participated in this unique summer educational experience. The students selected for this intensive 17-day residential program attended onsite presentations throughout Minnesota and experienced hands-on learning about the museum and archaeology fields and other historical and cultural preservation organizations.
Cornerstone Academy, the preservation education partnership of the Preservation Alliance and MNHS, launched in 2014. The statewide preservation education program has developed a training series for homeowners, community members, and professionals in fields that frequently interact with historic buildings and districts. Last year, hundreds of property owners across the state participated in more than 40 workshops. Courses included Understanding Historic Tax Credits, Handyman Special, Repairing Old Windows, and Why Old is Green: Sustainability in Older Homes.
MNHS continues its focus on preserving and making accessible the newspapers published in the state. Last year, the staff concentrated on acquiring digital content from publishers and building the access hub, Minnesota Newspapers Online (MNO). Work on both of these activities will continue.
Through this program, partners are extending the reach of National History Day in Minnesota. MNHS professional staff members coordinate school services with an emphasis on support for students from diverse backgrounds. Higher education partnerships help build college readiness skills for middle and high school students and strengthen the mentoring skills of Minnesota college students.
Partners: Northland Schools, Remer, and Washington Technology Magnet School, St. Paul
Improving the educational achievement of Minnesota's students is a strategic priority for MNHS. The Educational Achievement initiative allows MNHS to create partnerships with two school districts
MNHS exhibitions are supported by diverse programming that complements the content of the exhibitions. These additional programs augment and promote the rich stories of Minnesota's history. In FY16, programs included lectures, musical performances, hands-on family activities, and other events. In particular, three exhibitions
Historic Fort Snelling is an MNHS historic site targeted for revitalization. This revitalization is one of MNHS's current strategic priorities. The Historic Fort Snelling revitalization project completed a master plan in June 2015. The predesign phase kicked off in September 2015 and continues through FY16. The project manager position, which coordinates various MNHS educational programs and building activities, was partially supported with Legacy funds.
Historic Fort Snelling is an MNHS historic site and the state's first National Historic Landmark. A major project at the site prioritizes the adaptive reuse of two historic buildings concentrating on opportunities for public use, education, engagement and reflection. This project supports an MNHS strategic priority and speaks to the mission by returning historic facilities to public use while fostering new dialogues. A master plan was done in 2015, and predesign was completed in June 2016.
The award-winning History Live! program served more than 5,500 students in FY15, bringing the total number of students served since the program launched in FY11 to nearly 29,000. For the first quarter of FY16, the History Live! program updated its business plan with a goal to increase overall revenue and serve more students. It provided 14 programs serving 421 students through Oct. 31, 2015. In addition, the program partnered with the Jewish Community Relations Council to launch a new History Live! lesson that integrates students' use of handheld technology with the live program.
The Diversity Committee guides MNHS in relation to its strategic priority for diversity and inclusivity. The team meets regularly to discuss current offerings, interactions with various diverse communities and provides services for MNHS to increase cultural competency of staff. The committee activities have emphasized training and development of staff, choosing the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) as an assessment tool to provide a benchmark of the current state of intercultural competency with the plan of reassessing at a later date to gauge improvements.
LSA is a statewide project that builds on the achievements realized during the first five years of Legacy funding. The LSA is a strategic document and a resource for the work of statewide history communities over the next four years. Through a collaborative statewide process, the LSA has identified four goals and four strategic priorities that ultimately will be measured and sustained. Legacy Vision
We are all deeply connected to each other when we are engaged in, enriched by, and excited about Minnesota's history and cultural heritage.
MNHS and regional public libraries across Minnesota are combining resources to educate, entertain, and build community among library patrons in the state. Libraries and MNHS are bringing a range of programs and events to local libraries that document and preserve community stories for future generations, educate people of all ages about the history of Minnesota and its people, and make high quality history programming accessible to
More than 60 programs were presented in dozens
of communities around the state, including:
The Minnesota Historical Society is deeply engaged in cultivating meaningful relationships with adult audiences as lifelong learners, members, donors, volunteers, and supporters. In FY16, MNHS continued to build the organization's capacity for using skilled volunteers through staff trainings, creating new programs, and a thorough evaluation of programs targeted at adult audiences. New initiatives: Fifty-eight new skilled volunteer positions were added, contributing 4,700 volunteer hours.
The Minnesota Main Street program is a proven, comprehensive strategy that helps communities create new jobs and businesses while revitalizing buildings and preserving their historic downtowns. MNHS's Heritage Preservation department works with the partners
listed above to implement Minnesota Main Street,
which provides the tools, training, information, and networking that communities need to revitalize their business districts.
There are currently seven Minnesota Main Street designated communities: Faribault, New Ulm, Owatonna, Red Wing, Shakopee, Willmar, and Winona.
The MNHS Indian Advisory Committee (IAC) is made up of tribally appointed representatives of the 11 Minnesota tribes, as well as representatives of key groups, such as educators. IAC advises on planning, developing, and evaluating MNHS activities and initiatives including exhibitions, publications, public programs, and curatorial policy as they relate to the research, collection, preservation, and interpretation of Minnesota and American Indian history in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Historical Society and the Wilder Foundation worked with two new groups of existing and emerging community leaders in 2015 to enhance their ability to act on important community issues.
During each six-month program, 245 participants explored neighborhood involvement and developed leadership skills to take effective community action.
This groundbreaking project is creating a new model for school field trips, using mobile and web technologies to capitalize on the natural behaviors and learning styles of today's students. Serving approximately 7,000 students annually, Play the Past demonstrates how museums can use technology to create self-directed, personalized, responsive field trip experiences that deepen students' connection to history while honing their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
To meet the expectations of the legislature and the people of Minnesota, an evaluation coordinator is measuring the outcomes and value of programs, projects and partnerships supported by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF) through the Minnesota Historical Society. In October 2010, the Society worked with Wilder Research to improve the Society's ability to evaluate its ACHF projects and programs.
The Minnesota Historical Society continues to build a culture of evaluation. An evaluation coordinator provides technical assistance and support to staff who evaluate ACHF projects and programs. An institutional Evaluation Action Team, along with consultation from Wilder Research, helps provide strategy and direction for evaluation capacity-building efforts. Interns from the Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute at the University of Minnesota also support evaluation efforts that may include logic model design, evaluation planning, instrument design and data analysis and reporting.
MNHS continues to build a culture of evaluation. An evaluation manager leads institutional evaluation capacity building, as well as provides technical assistance and support to staff who evaluate ACHF projects and programs. An evaluation associate in the Education and Lifelong Learning Division facilitates evaluation efforts specifically in K-12 education and public programs. Three interns and numerous volunteers continue to support evaluation work.
MNHS staff created communication strategies and promotional materials for Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF) history projects, programs, and grants, including media kits for grant recipients. Increasing public awareness of ACHF investments will ensure that students, teachers, and the general public will use and benefit from them.
Since completion of the Ramsey Redevelopment Project in 2011, the Alexander Ramsey House has been operating under a new model, but without a new business and marketing plan. This project allowed the Historic Sites division to hire a consultant to lead the site staff and MNHS technical advisers through a business planning process. Project objectives were to articulate goals and an operational plan for the site, identify target markets for the site and ensure the site would continue to meet institutional mission and financial goals.
MNHS and the Minnesota State Fair Foundation are increasing awareness and knowledge of Minnesota history by providing quality programming for visitors to the Great Minnesota Get-Together. In 2015, the partners added new visual and written content for the Minnesota State Fair History Walking Tour brochure. Audio and visual content was available with the smartphone tour component, and staff presented audio/visual content via social media throughout the fair. Some 40,000 brochures were distributed throughout the fairgrounds during the run of the fair.
The Statewide Survey of Historical and Archaeological Sites focuses on tangible aspects of Minnesota's cultural heritage including historic places, archaeological sites, places with spiritual and traditional importance, and cultural landscapes. The survey focuses on the identification and evaluation of these places in order to improve their management and enhance their interpretation.
MNHS continues to strive for environmental, economic, and social sustainability in the fifth year of its sustainability program. Staff and visitors are engaged with sustainability through the project's "More for the Mission" campaign. Recent energy-efficiency projects within our facilities have allowed us to achieve the five-year goal of 15 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
MNHS continues to strive for environmental, economic and social sustainability in its sustainability program. To pinpoint opportunities for ongoing progress, the sustainability program will harmonize a broader range of institutional needs and objectives. The program will establish integrated, continuous, electronic reporting that unites environmental, social and economic risk analysis. This reporting will be used to further reduce our environmental impact and improve the sustainability of our operations as a whole.
The U of M and MNHS are collaborating to enhance heritage education across Minnesota. This project engages students in field experiences with the archaeological collections and interpretive programs at Historic Fort Snelling and is providing research support for new programs at the Oliver Kelley Farm. These projects will help build models for collaborative instruction that fosters cultural heritage awareness and protection.
Then Now Wow is a long-term educational exhibit designed specifically for Minnesota's children and families. This year staff created a comprehensive marketing strategy to increase overall attendance while driving specific increases among diverse families. New programs, including a monthly offering called WOW! Family Sundays, will give families the opportunity to discover the connections between old and new through activities, games, hands-on art projects and sharing stories.
The Together in Time project meets the needs of a diverse, aging population by empowering them as lifelong learners, encouraging them to tell stories, and by supporting their caregivers in carrying out their essential roles. Core elements of the program include leading programs in multiple locations for those with memory loss and their caregivers and working on tools such as a mobile app to show objects from MNHS's collections in order to spark conversations.
The Together in Time project meets the needs of a diverse, aging population by empowering them as lifelong learners, encouraging them to tell stories, and supporting their caregivers in carrying out their essential roles.
MNHS continues to focus on broadening access to many of its Legacy-funded programs through the Internet. This funding supports the web development professionals who plan, build, and implement digital components that are part of many Legacy-funded history projects and helps pay for Web hosting to make these projects accessible to people in Minnesota and beyond. MNHS also uses the web to report on its use of Legacy funds at legacy.mnhs.org and for the public to apply for Legacy grant funds at legacy.mnhs.org/grants.