Improving the educational achievement of Minnesota's students is a strategic priority for MNHS. The Educational Achievement initiative allows MNHS to create partnerships with three school districts--one rural, one suburban and one urban--and evaluate how a variety of educational programs measurably improve student achievement across multiple grade levels over multiple years.
MNHS strives to attract high school interns from underrepresented communities to encourage engagement and diversify the institution. Legacy funds supported four high school-age gallery assistants in spring 2016. These students received professional on-the-job experience interacting with visitors in the History Center galleries and at public events. Students contributed more than 300 hours to MNHS. Fifty percent of these students were from communities of color.
The Summer Legacy program supported four gallery assistants, beginning in FY16 and continuing into FY17.
Through this partnership, University of Minnesota and ACTC students from diverse backgrounds explored the museum field and issues related to diversity and museums during a semester-long course followed by a paid internship. The program also engages students in discussions on the underrepresentation of communities of color and American Indian nations in historical organizations and public history graduate programs. The class is offered in the fall for ACTC students and as a spring semester course at the University of Minnesota.
Minnesota’s twelve regional library systems, which encompass more than 350 public libraries in all areas of the state, can benefit from a portion of the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Through State Library Services, a division of the Minnesota Department of Education, each regional library system is eligible to receive a formula-driven allocation from the annual $2.2 million Minnesota Regional Library System Legacy Grant. Pioneerland Library System (PLS) is a consolidated regional public library system in west central Minnesota.
The Metropolitan Council, in conjunction with the University of Minnesota, is evaluating outdoor water use in the Twin Cities metro region - a subject which has come under the spotlight recently due to concerns related to water quality and quantity issues. In the Twin Cities, 20% of all treated drinking water is used outdoors, with a majority of this being used on lawns and landscapes. The goal of this proposal is to reduce water use in the home landscape by conducting assessments, research, and demonstration around the smart use of irrigation.
Turnaround Arts: Minnesota supports low performing schools in using the arts as a tool for improvement. Participating schools have demonstrated increased academic achievement, increased student and family engagement, and improved school culture and climate. At the national level Turnaround Arts is a signature program of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Turnaround Arts: Minnesota is run by Perpich Center for Arts Education and works with schools pre-K through 8th grade.
MNHS partners with diverse organizations to create in-depth, meaningful learning experiences for young people that help them develop career and life skills. The Mazinaakizige: American Indian Teen Photography Program welcomed six American Indian high school students who investigated historic and contemporary images of American Indians, learned digital photography, and created a gallery show to interpret the theme "Powerful." The opening was held at the Two Rivers Gallery on Dec. 9, 2016, with the gallery donating the space, announcement postcards and frames for the prints.