At the spring 2017 centennial of the American entry into World War I, this major exhibit will explore the tumultuous American scene at a critical moment in history as the nation flexes its muscles internationally and struggles to reconcile conflicting values at home.
MN Alliance of Local History Museums (MALHM) collaborates with MNHS to develop the capacity of history professionals across the state to serve local communities. This partnership will distribute best practices to all corners of the state through a conference to be held in April 2016 in Willmar. The partnership also will begin to operate with a paid coordinator to assure efficiency in serving a greater number of Minnesotans and their organizations that save and share history.
This partnership is designed to develop the capacity of history professionals across the state to serve local communities. This year high-quality best practices were shared around the state through the distribution of an improved periodic publication, a conference in Willmar (with almost a 20 percent increase in participation), new pilot affinity group meetings and informal learning opportunities.
Dakota Wicohan created the first half of a leadership and civics curriculum for Dakota youth—Dakota Itancan Kagapi, or, the making of Dakota leaders. The program will be used to train Dakota youth through the inter-related strategies of remembering, reclaiming, and reconnecting with our Dakota language and lifeways to enhance the region’s civic foundation.
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.
The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota (CMSM) will complete the innovative community engagement process started with the previous Legacy grant. CMSM will build upon the progress created with the previous Legacy grant by transitioning the team's focus to carrying-out of strategic access strategies that engage a diversity of community members in the exhibit development process, resulting in the completion of fabrication plans for exhibits and environments that are accessible; engaging; and reflect the diverse art, culture, and heritage of southern Minnesota.
In 2007, the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota (CMSM) conducted an environmental scan of early learning opportunities for children in southern Minnesota. It became apparent that the region creates few opportunities for children to engage in self-directed learning experiences in social settings; in particular, opportunities that create access to arts, culture, and heritage. This is still true today.
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.
A 2,500-square-foot exhibition, "We Are Hmong/Peb Yog Hmoob," timed for the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the beginning of Hmong migration to Minnesota, is planned to open on March 7, 2015 and will run through November 29, 2015.
As a strategic document, the Legacy Strategic Agenda (LSA) has four goals that build on achievements realized during the first five years of Legacy funding. Over the next four years, the LSA strategic priorities in education, grants, partnerships and unfamiliar stories will be acted on, measured and sustained at the community level. A dedicated LSA Collaborative representing a cross-section of the history community meets quarterly around the state to guide the work of LSA Priority Action Teams and to share successes.
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.
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.
MNHS staff created communication strategies and promotional materials for Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund history projects, program, and grants, including media kits for grant recipients and the creation of the annual report. Increasing public awareness of ACHF investments will ensure that students, teachers and the general public will use and benefit from them.
MNHS has in its care over 100,000 cubic feet of hard-copy government records and manuscript collections dating from the territorial period to the present. To access the vast majority of these holdings, researchers must currently visit the History Center or make other special arrangements. In FY16, MNHS is piloting a unique "scan on demand" service for researchers that will allow them to request, either online or in person, the digitization of specific materials with the resulting images being put online for wide public access.
In the design phase, this new 5,000-square-foot exhibition will focus on the history of the explosive growth of the Twin Cities suburbs, particularly in the years after WW II, and the aspirations driving the suburban dream. This exhibit will open October 10, 2015, and run through March 20, 2016.
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 Minnesota Historical Society continues to strive for environmental, economic and social sustainability with its third year of the sustainability program. Continued focus is being placed on educating staff and visitors about sustainability through the project's "More for the Mission" campaign. Sustainability campaigns include a staff alternative commuting event and an upcoming staff stair campaign. The goal of these projects is to engage staff in the significance of sustainability in their daily lives.
The exhibit told the stories of the toys of the baby boom era--of the kids who played with them, the adults who bought them, the child-rearing experts who judged them, and those who invented, packaged and advertised them--reflecting the rhythms of American life. Minnesota originals such as Tonka, Gumby, Twister and Cootie were highlighted. The 5,000-square-foot exhibition opened at the Minnesota History Center on May 24, 2014, and ran through January 4, 2015.
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.