Monday, January 30, 2012

MCCA Grant

The Museum submitted an American Association of Museums' Museums and Community Collaborations Abroad grant today. Helena and Susan worked find a suitable partner across the border, and the Museum submitted with Terra Peninsular, an organization focusing on art and land conservation. The $99,000 program aims to use combine traditional forms of craft production with Kumeyaay language studies in the learning method of situational fluency.

Below is the abstract: 
This project engages international and local communities in meaningful dialogue about complex border issues through youth-based cultural exchanges aimed at cultural fluency. Yuman cultures, which shared a common past for thousands of years, have been separated by the artificial border between the United States and Mexico. The traditional crafts associated with desert survival have remained intact on the Mexican side of the border, while language structures and traditional songs have remained intact on the US side of the border. The goals of identity building, strengthening community, and encouraging cultural exchange will aid directly in giving several marginalized native communities tools to survive the current crises of the border.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Star Party Success

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Star Party last night. We were a little overwhelmed by our success. It is hard to know how many people will come to your first event. But I dont think anyone had any idea that so many people would come. The first visitors, two IVC students, came at 3:45. Their environmental science teacher told the class about the event. The last two people came at 8:45. They were driving home from San Diego and wanted to see what was going on. In between, there were well over 120 people who came through the building, looked through telescopes, and generally had a good time. 

A double thanks to Tyler Insurance for sponsoring the event.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Preparing for the Stars

Today was a big volunteer day. We had two volunteers show up. But they did a ton of work, which was very appreciated. The museum had to be cleaned, tables and chairs had to be moved, AV equipment had to be set up. This was all happening while the conservation lab is still under construction and the library is getting re-situated for a program that begins in February.

We are almost ready for the Starry Night Stargazing Event tomorrow.

See you Saturday, 4:00pm to 9:00pm 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Star Party on Saturday

“Stargazing in the Desert”                                   When: Saturday Jan 28, 2012 
Time: 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Where: Imperial Valley Desert Museum Ocotillo, CA
Sponsored by Tyler Insurance Agency
You and your family and friends are in invited to “Look at the Moon, Planets & Stars” on a bright starry night at the IV Desert Museum. There will be several telescopes and binoculars set-up and operated by amateur astronomers who can tell you what you are viewing.
Inside there will be a program on amateur astronomy with amazing pictures taken through the telescopes you can look through. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Californians Connecting to Collections

Today, museum staff participated in an preservation grant seminar in San Diego. We had a strong showing of three staff, a volunteer, and a trustee. In fact, we had the only museum trustee present at the seminar.

I asked the people who went to sum up what they learned in a sentence or catch phrase. This is what we learned:

"Consultants, consultants, consultants."

"Grants are easy to write, just make sure everything is right."

"Using a little box chart is a very effective method of creating work goals."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Legal Professionals Association

Today the museum presented its Strategic Plan as the program for the Imperial County Legal Professionals Association. Liz Gonzalez set this up. A big THANK YOU to Liz.

They had 27 people at their lunch meeting. As legal professionals, they asked very good ququestions. I think the museum had two members among the people who attended.     

Monday, January 16, 2012

Meetings in Tecate

Susan, Helena, and Dr. Hitch traveled to Tecate today to meet with museum representatives in Mexico about a collaborative grant we are working on.

The MCCA grant is a cross-cultural program aimed at connecting an American museum with a foreign museum to create cultural exchanges.

We are working on a program to expand our Strategic Goal of working with traditional crafts, such as pottery. The goal is to link Native communities by bringing artisans across the border to share traditional crafts. Helena set these meetings up and they were extremely productive today. We crossed a border and a bridge. I think we found a good partner institution.

Friday, January 6, 2012

First Volunteer Curation Training Workshop

This week marks a big change for the Desert Museum. On January 2 our first curation staff person arrived on site. Today, is the first volunteer curation training workshop. The priority of the Museum over the next year is to recurate our private collections. Getting the Conservation Lab completed is a large part of this priority. But training volunteers is a close second.

 At our current level of operation, recurating the private collection will take over 20,000 volunteer hours. Our plan is to develop a training program in order to create a pool of people trained with various cultural resource management and museum skills. Today is the first step.