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 Diversity Committee guides MNHS in relation to its strategic priority for diversity and inclusivity. The team meets regularly to discuss current offerings, interactions with various diverse communities and provides services for MNHS to increase cultural competency of staff. The committee activities have emphasized training and development of staff, choosing the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) as an assessment tool to provide a benchmark of the current state of intercultural competency with the plan of reassessing at a later date to gauge improvements.
LSA is a statewide project that builds on the achievements realized during the first five years of Legacy funding. The LSA is a strategic document and a resource for the work of statewide history communities over the next four years. Through a collaborative statewide process, the LSA has identified four goals and four strategic priorities that ultimately will be measured and sustained. Legacy Vision
We are all deeply connected to each other when we are engaged in, enriched by, and excited about Minnesota's history and cultural heritage.
To meet the expectations of the legislature and the people of Minnesota, an evaluation coordinator is measuring the outcomes and value of programs, projects and partnerships supported by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF) through the Minnesota Historical Society. In October 2010, the Society worked with Wilder Research to improve the Society's ability to evaluate its ACHF projects and programs.
The Minnesota Historical Society continues to build a culture of evaluation. An evaluation coordinator provides technical assistance and support to staff who evaluate ACHF projects and programs. An institutional Evaluation Action Team, along with consultation from Wilder Research, helps provide strategy and direction for evaluation capacity-building efforts. Interns from the Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute at the University of Minnesota also support evaluation efforts that may include logic model design, evaluation planning, instrument design and data analysis and reporting.
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.
Since completion of the Ramsey Redevelopment Project in 2011, the Alexander Ramsey House has been operating under a new model, but without a new business and marketing plan. This project allowed the Historic Sites division to hire a consultant to lead the site staff and MNHS technical advisers through a business planning process. Project objectives were to articulate goals and an operational plan for the site, identify target markets for the site and ensure the site would continue to meet institutional mission and financial goals.
The U of M and MNHS are collaborating to enhance heritage education across Minnesota. This project engages students in field experiences with the archaeological collections and interpretive programs at Historic Fort Snelling and is providing research support for new programs at the Oliver Kelley Farm. These projects will help build models for collaborative instruction that fosters cultural heritage awareness and protection.
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.