What an exciting and challenging time we live in! Stearns History Museum is at a turning point in its existence. We have reached our maximum capacity for all museum functions, including archives, library and research, exhibits, program and administrative spaces. In addition, there are demands on the museum to represent an increasingly culturally diverse and technology savvy population.
Our current facility opened in 1984, and has served as the preeminent county museum in the Upper Midwest. The contemporary design belies its age. All involved in this project many years ago helped create an ageless, strikingly beautiful home for the Stearns History Museum. It has served us extremely well for more than 30 years.
The museum, however, is much more than a facility; it’s about people. Our staff is composed of some long-term loyal and talented employees who are the memory and character of this place. We also have been blessed with some recently employed staff whose education and experience are as current as today with graduate degrees from prestigious universities keeping us all challenged and growing.
Why do we need to change - to expand? We recognize the need to explore options that will serve the next 30+ years. For example, we need to bring our technologies up to tomorrow’s standards and learning styles. Our storage is so full we find it hard to accept additional items. Since every day is making history, we need to collect, preserve and store today’s history.
We are engaged together as staff and board to chart a new path into the future. The horizon is broad and the future bright. As a membership organization, our charge is to make decisions on your behalf that lead this organization in facilities, programming, research and collections decisions to be a top-rated museum in which you can take great pride. Therefore, we are working on developing a concept of what your museum could look like if we are able to implement our full strategic plan.
You may have begun to hear about some of those prospective concepts that we are considering. We want to grow all of the museum elements, and the potential plan calls for the museum to expand its exhibit and program spaces and to collaborate to bring a children’s museum to our county.
This region deserves the very best museum and cultural center at the highest value that we can provide, and these challenges motivate us to do our best for you the community we serve. Join in supporting us on this exciting journey. We welcome your input and encourage you to become a supporting member. See you at the museum!
- Jim Davis