Sunday, August 30, 2015

Exhibit work continues

-from the Curator

Measuring pieces for trays
The installers from Weldon Exhibits may have left, but there are behind the scene aspects of exhibit building that continue.  Today, we worked on building the trays that will hold the glass bead base of our visible storage exhibit and added some finishing touches of paint and rust effects to wood. It's amazing to see the difference a few little touches makes!

 We were also inspired by the beautifully clear weather to drive out and re-take our panoramic images of the Yuha Desert for the Land of Extremes.  

A photographer's work is never done

Secret superhero photographer?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Coiled Clay Art Program goes national!

-from the Curator

This week I went to the Society of American Archivists national convention, held this year in Cleveland.  I had the honor of being a part of a panel discussion on nontraditional outreach in archives and museums and how institutions of any size could reach new audiences through creative programs.  
Caitlin Brennecke with Troy Historic Village; Caitlin Christian-Lamb with Davidson College; Kelsey Duinkerke with Thomas Jefferson University; Jessica Holden with the University of Massachusetts, Boston; and I gave a panel discussion moderated by the wonderful Michelle Ganz from Lincoln Memorial University, Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum.  We each discussed specific outreach programs from our institutions that step a little bit outside the box.

Cleveland Convention Center, home of SAA 2015
 In my case, I talked about the IVDM's Coiled Clay Art Program.  As our signature program, we have done it so often the staff doesn't think of it as 'outreach'- just fun.  But one of the big questions we asked on this panel was: "If you're not having fun, why would anyone else?"  Each of us explored the idea that outreach events should be fun and engaging as well as educational.  Being unique and going beyond the walls of our institutions means that we reach wider audiences and interest them in different ways. Through the fairs, festivals, and field trips the Museum has done, I know we've met many people we might not otherwise have gotten the chance to talk to, and introduced many kids to the idea that museums can be fun.

Between 125-150 people attended our session, and we were thrilled by the many interesting and insightful questions asked after the talk.  Clearly a lot of people were already starting to think about what new and exciting programs they could start at their own institutions.  We were also surprised and flattered by the amount of positive feedback we got after our talk.  It was very encouraging to a group of young professionals giving their first large conference presentation!  If you follow the Museum on Twitter ( @IVDesertMuseum) you saw some of the lovely comments people tweeted about our session: "Just saw a fabulous session on outreach. Thanks to the panelists on #s303 #saa15!"
It was a wonderful experience for me as a young archival professional, and a great spotlight for the IVDM on the national stage.  

Caitlin, Anne, Jessica, Kelsey, & Caitlin, celebrating a presentation well done!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Installation of Phase I and Phase II nearly complete!

It has been quite a busy week out at the museum! Weldon Exhibits has been out all week installing the rest of phase 1 and phase 2 of our permanent exhibit. Our Lake Cahuilla Diorama has received its new floor treatment, our visible storage has received its glass case, our ceramics video is up and running, and we have received our Habitats In Flux and our Power of the Land exhibits. It is so exciting to see the museum come together. Everyone here at the museum is happy to see all of this activity, and to see the museum's dreams come true. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Power of the Land starts install today!

The installation of Power of the Land began today, This is a multi-media interactive exhibit that looks at the resources in Imperial County.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Kumeyaay Stories of Change videos

-from the Curator

Our video editor Marcie Rodriguez and Frank Salazar have been hard at work editing additional video clips for the Cal Humanities Community Stories grant.  Oral histories that didn't make it into the final Emmy-nominated First People Kumeyaay documentary are being added to YouTube as a part of this grant in order to share more of these incredible stories. You can see all of the links as they go up on our website, where we now have a section devoted just to this grant.  It's constantly growing- we are working on adding teacher resources for classroom discussions as well as the new videos. We hope you'll explore them and enjoy!

"The Importance of Tradition"

"The Natural Ways"

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Closer to Endowment Goal 2014-2015

-from the Director

As you all know, we are in the final days of trying to reach our goal for the NEH Challenge Grant.  Our NEH "challenge" is to raise $195,000 each year over the four years of the grant.  This money goes directly into our Endowment Fund, which will support two permanent staff positions.

If you read the IVDM blog or the Society Newsletter recently, you’ll know that in the last few weeks we are just $21,000 short of that goal.  Museum Members have stepped up this week and written checks- one for $5,000 and one for $500, and today, we received a check for $750.

We are now just under $14,000 from this year’s Challenge Grant goal, ending July 31, 2015.

We’d like to thank those of you who have supported us over the years and are as eager to see the Imperial Valley Desert Museum succeed as we are.  If you haven’t yet donated towards the Endowment Fund, we urge you to do so before the end of next week - with your small gifts over the next four years we will reach our goal of having a $1 million Museum Endowment.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Name That Sheep!

-from the Curator

Our sheep statue is always a big hit with visitors.  Designed to be a photo op, he stands proud and photogenic (and carefully ignoring the mountain lion watching him!)  Our #shelfie (what else would you call a sheep selfie?) campaign remains popular. Plenty of people take their pictures with our sheep and many are kind enough to tag us on social media or email us their photos for us to post their #shelfie pictures on the Museum's Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Family #shelfie
But our sheep still does not have a name! We thought someone would want to sponsor him and we'd give them the chance to name him.  But so far no sponsor, and no name. So we're starting contest for our social media friends: Name that Sheep!
From now through the end of August we'll be accepting name suggestions.  Email us, Facebook us, Tweet us, write it down at the museum- but let's #namethatsheep!

The only rules to the contest are the names must be male (he is a ram after all) and the Museum staff reserve the right to remove inappropriate names from the final contest.
Group #shelfie
The first week in September we'll compile all the suggestions and then put them up for a vote. Most popular name (determined by the number of likes on Facebook) wins and we'll change our hashtag to #(name)shelfie to be even more unique.

Spread the word- ask your friends, ask your neighbors- who is this sheep?