To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Minnesota Historical Society is creating a broad range of opportunities to help students, teachers and the general public learn more about the war and the role Minnesota played. Initiatives include:
Throughout FY12 and FY13, Minnesota Historical Society staff members have reached out to and met with many groups and individuals to gather their opinions and recommendations regarding an exhibit on and the commemoration of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. Staff met with tribal councils in Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota, individuals from tribes in Minnesota and throughout the Midwest and residents of Brown and Nicollet Counties. In addition, the Society sponsored the "We Gather Together As One" Dakota nationwide conference in Minneapolis and St.
Minnesota Historical Society staff are working to serve Twin Cities area schools with increasingly diverse demographics. Staff are providing more support services for students competing in History Day and American Indian History Day. Staff are also promoting and recruiting students for programs that engage students in history like the American Indian Museum Fellowship Program and the Summer History Immersion Program. These funds also provide general staff and logistical support for diversity outreach efforts.
Through this partnership, undergraduate students representing all five ACTC college campuses participated in a summer-long course designed to increase knowledge about the museum field. Students also interned at Minneapolis and St. Paul public schools, mentoring students participating in the History Day program. ACTC Fellows also visited leading museums in the midwest to compare and contrast the Minnesota Historical Society with other cultural institutions regarding content learned in class.
Development is underway on a number of future History Center exhibitions that will explore rich stories of Minnesota's past. Major exhibitions will center on how Minnesotans have played, the national impact of the 18th Amendment and Prohibition, the Vietnam War experience and its legacy, and professional football and the Vikings. Other exhibitions will highlight the variety of communities in the state and will bring the fascinating collections of the Minnesota Historical Society to public view.
In order to implement its Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF) projects, the Minnesota Historical Society employs an ACHF Manager to oversee the program administration. The Society is also supporting administration of the grants program and expanded financial management and administrative functions. The Society is diligently working to keep administrative costs low while adhering to the legislative mandate that costs be "directly related to and necessary for a specific appropriation."
Partner: The Minnesota Geospatial Information Office
In the spring of 2013, students and the general public will be able to choose a specific place on an online map of Minnesota and historical images and information related to that spot will automatically appear. The site will give students and the general public a deeper knowledge of the history of particular places in the state. Geo-tagging staff has been adding geographical markers to more than 300,000 of the Society's historic photographs, maps and artifacts.
This funding supports and ensures the success of the ACHF-funded Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants Program. It allows Society staff to seek out potential grant applicants, lead statewide grant-writing workshops and webinars, and help applicants with technical information critical to submitting a successful grant application, as well as supporting recipients throughout the life of their projects.
A photo exhibit and commemorative event marked the fifth anniversary of a catastrophic event in Minnesota history: the collapse of the I-35W bridge. For the exhibit, local artist Vance Gellert interviewed and photographed survivors, people who lost loved ones, first responders and other helpers. The exhibit was on view at Mill City Museum in Minneapolis from Aug. 1 to Dec. 30, 2012. A public commemorative event at Mill City Museum on Aug.
Digital maps were created depicting landscape change in Minnesota from the 1850s to today as well as maps that show predicted change in forest tree composition in northern Minnesota due to climate change.
Valuable three-dimensional images of ancient rock carvings at Jeffers Petroglyphs will be safely stored and also made accessible to the general public thanks to ACHF funds. Funds allowed staff to catalogue the images and make them accessible at the Jeffers site and through the Minnesota Historical Society's Collections Online website. The images of individual carvings will serve as an archival record, a research and conservation resource and an educational tool
The Oliver H. Kelley farm in Elk River is a National Historic Landmark, where visitors experience mid-19th-century Minnesota farm life. This historic structures report provides the foundation for future maintenance and preservation of the farmhouse while continuing to provide an important level of programming and public service. The Jeffris Family Foundation has awarded a matching grant of $25,000 to the Minnesota Historical Society to fund half of the estimated costs of a consultant to prepare the report.
The Minnesota Digital Library (MDL) is a statewide, multi-institutional initiative. Its mission is to make the rich historical resources of the state's public and academic libraries, archives, museums and historical societies available to students, teachers and the public via the web and also to preserve these resources for future generations.
The 2012-2013 appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund will allow the MDL to expand the number of historical resources online and continue its work preserving these digital resources.
Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indian and Cambodian immigrants have left an indelible and flavorful mark on Minnesota and on our culinary, cultural and economic history. The book "Asian Flavors" and an accompanying documentary record the story of countless men and women who made the arduous journey halfway around the world to live in Minnesota, fleeing oppression and persecution or in search of jobs and education. This project preserves and shares their stories of survival and success in our state, stories that serve as an inspiration to all.
Partners: Preservation Alliance of Minnesota (primary), Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality, University of Minnesota Tourism Center, Minnesota Design Team
MNopedia and MinnPost, an online news organization, are working together to share content and make Minnesota history more accessible. MNopedia is the first digital encyclopedia about Minnesota. All MNopedia articles are prepared by historians, consulting experts, professional writers, and others vetted by the Minnesota Historical Society. Once a week, MinnPost will publish a MNopedia article on its website. In addition, twice a month for the next ten months, MinnPost will create and publish news articles that relate to historical events in Minnesota.
Twenty high school students from diverse backgrounds participated in a college-readiness program at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Students learned high-level research and presentation skills while working with various collections in the Andersen Library. Students also learned how to apply for college, spent the night in a dorm room, participated in mock lectures with professors and other activities designed to increase their confidence and comfort level with campus life.
Arts and Cultural Heritage funds supported staff time devoted to creating "Then Now Wow," a major, new, hands-on exhibit that brings fascinating people, places and stories of our state to life. Visitors to "Then Now Wow" (the exhibit's working title was "Our Minnesota") which opened at the Minnesota History Center in late November 2012, explore the state's distinctive places and meet the diverse people who have made their homes here.