This is the museum's 40th anniversary and since it's inception it has continued to grow and flourish. It is a very rich resource in Grants Pass, not to mention all of Southern Oregon. Since I began as Executive Director we have made a lot of changes. The first really big one is that the museum's hours are now 10am - 5pm Tuesday through Saturday. On First Friday the museum is open until 9pm. The second really huge thing is the hiring of a full time administrative assistant. Many of you have met and enjoy knowing Kristen O'Neill.
For the building itself a new air conditioner was installed as one of the old ones had failed and my office was over 90 degrees in the summer. New carpet was installed in the elevator and stairwell. Signage was changed to make the museum more visible. The lobby is going through a change which will allow us to better honor our past, present, and future supporters.
As for programs - concerts have been added to bring new people to the museum. The concert last month was sold out and had at least 17 people who had never been in the museum before. There are classes for children over seven twice a week during the summer. There are classes for adults all year round on most Saturdays.
The museum exhibits, expertly handled by the exhibition department, are inspiring and diverse. The exhibitions are probably the most important element in the museum's sustainability. These are what really draws people to the museum in the first place. Fortunately, lately, most of the exhibitions have been sponsored helping the museum's bottom line. (If you are interested in doing this sort of sponsorship - please let us know.)
And finally, the most impactful program is the fifth grade field trips to the museum. In its second year the museum hosted over 500 fifth graders from Josephine County and a few from Douglas and Jackson Counties. It is felt that if the children aren't introduced to the museum and why it matters - they won't grow up caring about this rich resource.
With all of this, and occasional needs, like a new faucet or elevator maintenance - the museum can't survive without help from members and donors, businesses and foundations. The museum is free - thus, all of its activities must be paid for with outside funds.
If you are inclined to help with our funding - at the bottom of this eNews there is a clever way of donating pretty painlessly. Recurring credit card donations are easy. Please consider helping. Because if you, as we, consider the museum a jewel in our community - help us make it shine brightly.
See you soon! Don't miss this First Friday. You have an opportunity to meet Rich Bergeman and enjoy the exhibit of his photographs.