Who are the people who have made McLean County their home? Where did they come from and how did they get here? What did they experience after they arrived?
On Monday, January 18, 2016 the McLean County Museum of History unveiled the new exhibit, "Making A Home", that will help answer these questions. This exhibit is the first in a series of five galleries to open that will eventually make up the larger permanent exhibit "Challenges, Choices, and Change: The People of McLean County."
The McLean County Museum of History has launched a $3 million campaign to fund significant improvements including a new permanent exhibit and Museum-wide technology upgrades.
Members of the Extending Excellence campaign committee and Museum staff made the announcement Thursday night during the Museum’s annual meeting and History Makers Gala.
Museum Executive Director Greg Koos said the campaign is building momentum, having already raised $1.92 million through private donations. He said the main goal of the Extending Excellence campaign is to better connect new generations with local history and expand the Museum’s capacity to serve an ever-increasing demand for educational programs that reach more than 8,200 local students and senior citizens each year.
“With increasingly diverse audiences and fundamental changes in 21st century learning, we must strive together in the present to preserve the past in order to shape the future,” said Koos.
Campaign Co-Chair and Board President Craig Alexander told the audience he is grateful for the community’s strong endorsement of the campaign so far, but he added that success will require the support of the entire community to achieve the $3 million goal.
“While $3 million is a lofty goal, it becomes more attainable when you consider the generosity and confidence shown by our early donors,” said Alexander. “We are excited about sharing the details of the campaign and its potential for all of McLean County.”
The Extending Excellence campaign will position the Museum to better connect with new generations and foster meaningful connections to our community’s past. The Museum will meet these challenges by installing a new permanent exhibit, upgrading technology throughout the Museum, expanding the Education Department, and enhancing the surrounding green space. The campaign is expected to wrap up in 2016.
The public can learn more about the campaign’s four main initiatives and how to make a contribution by visiting the website www.mchistory.org/campaign. The Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit institution founded in 1904.
Your support of the Extending Excellence campaign will help us ensure that the heritage of McLean County continues to play a vital role in community life!
Technology has pretty much been integrated into every aspect of our daily lives. Of course, there are times when technology isn't really appropriate. (I would argue that there really is no need for a litter box that flushes.) But, despite what some might say, I think museums across the country are doing an excellent job of figuring out when to incorporate technology, and when to leave history to speak for itself.