CMSM opened its new permanent site with increased capacity to serve as an informal learning center that playfully engages children, families, and school groups in interactive experiences with the art and cultural heritage of southern Minnesota. With its current appropriation, CMSM is poised to strengthen its core as an institution that promotes arts and cultural heritage learning through continued
CMSM will build upon the work that began with its 2015-16 appropriation by (1) Remediation and further development of exhibit areas that promote Arts & Cultural Heritage (ACH) learning (2) Expanding ACH learning opportunities for new audiences at off-site locations; (3) Engaging an outside Evaluation Consultant to help plan/implement strategies that meaningfully assess ACH learning outcomes and impacts; (4) Boosting the Museum’s capacity to serve more school/early learning groups.
The Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota planned for the cultural alignment of the permanent Children's Museum's art curation, signage, and interactive experiences. The primary focus of this cultural content related to southern Minnesota including Dakota art, culture, and heritage and complemented the Exhibit Development and Fabrication Legacy grant goals.
The Why Treaties Matter exhibit made possible by previous Legacy funding explores the relationships between Minnesota's Dakota and Ojibwe tribes and the United States Government. The Minnesota Indian Affairs Council and the Humanities Center will take the work and impact of the exhibit deeper by creating a curriculum to complement the exhibit.
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.
Legacy-funded programs at the Minnesota Humanities Center demonstrate our determination to collaboratively create humanities programs for the broader public by forging strong partnerships with local, state, and national cultural organizations. These programs show the broader community how the humanities can be used to address issues important to their everyday lives. Each activity, event, and program shares an Absent Narrative with participants, which help residents across the state engage in a more sophisticated understanding of their community.
In 2016, VocalEssence WITNESS welcomes artist Melanie DeMore to help us explore the Underground Railroad in Minnesota—specifically how our state has been a place of sanctuary for refugees from the time of slavery through today. As part of this project, Melanie will help record absent narratives of those who have found sanctuary in Minnesota, and these stories will be shared in video and written form to explore the concept of sanctuary as part of the WITNESS School Program.