Sunday, April 17, 2016

37th Annual Children's Fair

-Education Coordinator

Yesterday was El Centro's 37th Annual Children's Fair, and as always, we were there!  The fair was brought to us by The Child Abuse Prevention Council. We featured our coiled clay program, which teaches children and adults alike a 1,000 year old traditional art method used by our local native tribe, the Kumeyaay. We had around 175 children visit our booth over the course of the day.

We also had some familiar faces come out to visit and help us run the booth. Kohl's employees volunteered to help us, just like they did for the Wilson Art Fair! I am so happy they enjoyed their time enough that they came out to join us again. Thanks to the Kohl's Cares program, and the willingness of their volunteers, Kohl's will be donating $500 dollars to the museum's education program. Thank you so much for all the hard work you put in.

We also had a new face at the booth, Humberto Dominguez came out to help volunteer as well. Humberto is a student at SDSU who is working towards a teaching credential. We appreciate his help with this program and hope to see him again.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Research Party at the Museum!

Steve O'Neil and Randy West
discussing the hunting mask. 

-Education Coordinator

What a wonderful day out here at the museum! We had Dr. Alan Garfinkel, founder and director of the California Rock Art Foundation and Principle Archaeologist for UltraSystems Environmental, Inc, and Steve O'Neil, the cultural resource manager for UltraSystems, out to study our Kumeyaay hunting mask. Along with them came Randy West, who donated the mask to the museum in 2015. The mask had been found by Randy's great grandfather in the 1920s. This mask is the only one of it's kind in the world.

Alan and Educator Coordinator
looking at the Childer's Collection.

While here, Alan and Steve, along with our staff, began to examine the artifacts from the Childers Collection. This collection came from local archaeologist Morlin Childers, and had been unavailable for study for around 30 years. While going through the collection, Alan was able to identify a collection of points, including a limace point, which is estimated to be between 7000 - 11,000 years old.

The limace point, dating back
7,000 - 11,000 years ago. 
He spent his evening with us as well, giving a presentation on the importance of bighorn sheep in ceremonies, and in his discussion, he talked about a ceremonial mask that is made from the horns of the sheep. It, like our own mask, is a one of a kind, and is on display at a museum in Utah.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Celebrating Art- Wilson Jr High Art Fest

-from the Education Coordinator

This Tuesday was Wilson Junior High's Annual Art Fair, and the Imperial Valley Desert Museum's History On The Go program was there!  414 participants stopped by our booth this year to learn how to make a coiled clay pot

414 people in 3 hours came by our booth

There were kids of all ages, and some adults, getting their hands dirty to make ceramic pieces. The fair was packed with members of the community as the fair continues to grow every year. Students from around the valley are able to bring their art work to be displayed, and then at the interactive booths, like the one IVDM ran, are able to make brand new pieces of art work. There are also live performances of cheer, dance, and music.
Thanks to Kohl's Cares Associates for volunteering!

Having the booth at these fairs would, of course, not be possible without the support of our wonderful volunteers and staff. A very special thanks to Albert Lutz, Angelina Coble, Neil Zinn, and Sue Hess for helping us make this happen. A huge difference was made by Alejandra, Priscilla, Valerie, Amanda, and Jeffery from Kohl's in El Centro, who volunteered through the Kohl's Cares Associates in Action volunteer program.  Through this program Kohl's Associates donate their personal time to helping support their local communities and non-profit organizations.  Kohl's also awarded the Imperial Valley Desert Museum with a $500 grant to support youth art programs.  This grant money will go towards supporting the coiled clay program, ensuring that there are enough supplies to last for many future events. Thanks Volunteers!   

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Girl Scouts Hike Fossil Canyon

-from our Education Coordinator

Today, our Education Coordinator, Marcie Rodriguez, took Girl Scout Troop 7030 out on a hike to Fossil Canyon, in the Coyote Mountains. This canyon gives a wonderful geologic perspective on Imperial County. Because of the volcanic activity that existed here 17 million years ago, you can see the layer of black volcanic rock, known as basalt, laying on top of the mountain, rather than below where it usually sits.

The beginning part of the trail is an easy walking trail, one most anyone can do. The girls, and their families, began from a Bureau of Land Management road, and walked into the canyon. From there, they hiked along the inside of

the base of the canyon, till we got to a basalt formation that is a dried waterfall. The girls were adventurous, and decided from there they wanted to try to climb the mountain! They made it almost to the top, before the trail became too rough. After that, they hiked back down to bottom, to have a picnic lunch. Even the lunch was an adventure, as the everyone sat and ate
under a slip strike fault.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Donate by Shopping!

-from the Curator

Did you know that donating to the Imperial Valley Desert Museum can be as fun and easy as shopping on  Now when you shop through Amazon will donate 0.5% of your total to the museum.  Every little bit helps us keep the museum running and staffed, so please remember us when you're shopping.

Thanks! Your support is appreciated!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

IVDM on the News

-from the Curator

Roy Dorantes films volunteers curating 
Today KECY news reporter Roy Dorantes came out from Yuma to film a story about the Imperial Valley Desert Museum.  He asked questions about what we do here at the museum, what some of the highlights of the museum are, and our mission to bring the museum out of the walls of the building and encourage people to explore and connect with the desert. 
SDSU student Edgar Bernal-Sevilla was in the museum today doing research on the Morlin Childers collection and spoke to Dorantes.  "It's a great place to be, and has had a huge impact on my education. It's a rare opportunity to do research." Edgar said.

Roy Dorantes and Ramses #Ramseselfie
He even took a moment to pose with Ramses! Look on tonight's news (6,7pm CA time, 7,8pm AZ time) channel 5, 11, and 13 and tomorrow's Telemundo to see the story.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Exciting news from the County

-from the Curator

We wanted to share with everyone the latest press release- going out today! 

Admission in 2016 will remain free courtesy of the Imperial County Board of Supervisors. We hope you take a moment to contact your District Supervisor and thank them for their support of the Museum.


Supervisor Jack Terrazas, Education Coordinator Marcie Rodriguez, Curator Anne Morgan, Director Neal Hitch
Imperial County Supervisor Presents County Donation to Imperial Valley Desert Museum
-Rebecca Terrazas-Baxter

Today, Imperial County Supervisor Jack Terrazas visited the Imperial Valley Desert Museum (IVDM) to present the final installment of a total $125,000 donation for two County-sponsored exhibits, titled the Welcome and Visitors Service Area and the Power of Imperial County.
“It is wonderful to be able to be a part of an effort to preserve the history of our county,” stated Chairman Jack Terrazas, who represents District 2 including Ocotillo where the museum is located. “When Dr. Hitch presented the Board of Supervisors with the request for assistance, my colleagues and I were more than willing to assist in enhancing the museum for the benefit of the community. The museum is a wonderful educational resource for our local youth who are making more frequent field trips to the museum to learn more about the history of their county.”
On September 16, 2014, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors voted to fund two components of an overall redesign at the IVDM. The two exhibits are meant to provide museum visitor information and historical background on the natural transition of the landscape of Imperial County over the last 9 million years. Both exhibits are now complete and IVDM is currently working on the last phase of their three-phase renovation project. The two exhibits sponsored by the County of Imperial were part of the second phase of the overall redesign. The IVDM is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.