Partners: Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU), University of Minnesota (U of M), Minneapolis Public Schools, St. Paul Public Schools
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.
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
In the third year of this project, MNHS staff continued to inventory and rehouse archaeological collections from Historic Fort Snelling. As part of MNHS involvement with the University of Minnesota's Heritage Collaborative, student interns spent the 2015 fall semester assisting project staff with inventory and research. Artifact data was shared with University faculty for use in their courses. To date, over 98,000 catalog records have been created, describing more than 180,000 artifacts recovered during archaeological excavations at Historic Fort Snelling.
The Minnesota Historical Society introduced the Legacy Research Fellowship program in FY13 to add to the body of knowledge and interpretation of Minnesota's history (pre- and post-statehood). The first seven fellows completed their work in FY15. The second class of four fellows was named in December 2014 and will work on their projects in the Gale Family Library in 2015.
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.
MNopedia (www.mnopedia.org) is a free, reliable, award-winning online encyclopedia of Minnesota, created and managed by the Minnesota Historical Society. MNopedia authors, many of whom are volunteer specialists, create rich entry packages, including text, multimedia and bibliographic resources that tell the stories of their communities and our state. New articles are published weekly. This unique resource, written and designed for use by general audiences as well as teachers and students, provides easy access to the shared history of all Minnesotans.
MNopedia is an award-winning online encyclopedia of Minnesota created by MNHS, designed for use by a general audience, teachers, and students. In 2015, the MNopedia library grew to include essays on Hmong, African American, and Jewish history, and articles on topics as diverse as Minnesota in World War I, immigration to the Iron Range, Dayton's department store, and the Grange in Minnesota. A new feature, This Day in Minnesota History, a Minnesota book of days, was added.
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.
The Minnesota Historical Society continues to raise awareness of its Legacy projects and programs through a comprehensive communications strategy. The strategy is aimed at ensuring that Minnesotans are informed of MNHS programs and therefore have the information necessary to visit our historic sites and museums, engage in our website, use our many services, and learn about the history of our state.
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.
MNHS continued the Legacy Research Fellowships program in FY15 with a productive second year of adding to the body of knowledge and interpretation of Minnesota's pre- and post-statehood history.
Four scholars were selected as research fellows. Three scholars received $5,000 awards and one received a $1,000 award. The Legacy Research Fellows used the Gale Family Library at the Minnesota History Center to research their topics, which included:
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.
The Legislature created the Statewide Survey of Historic & Archaeological Sites to provide opportunities to expand our understanding of historic and archaeological sites statewide.
Projects are defined by an oversight board and are conducted through competitive-bid contracts.
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 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.
This mobile tour offers intriguing stories and reflections about historic sites along the Minnesota River Valley, the people who lived there and the lasting impact of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. The tour can be accessed by calling 888-601-3010 from any location. A travel guide that includes a map of the mobile tour can be downloaded at www.usdakotawar.org/mobiletour. In FYs14 and 15, improvements were made to the media-rich smartphone version, tour wayfinding was enhanced and additional promotion occurred..
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.
MNHS partners with diverse organizations to create in-depth, meaningful learning experiences for young people that help them develop career and life skills.
One example is the Mazinaakizige: American Indian Teen Photography Program.