Friday, February 26, 2016

Exciting news from the County

-Anne C. Morgan, Head 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. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

IVDM Hosted 2016 State of the County Address

-from the Curator

221 community members attended this year's State of the County address

Thursday, February 18, the Imperial Valley Desert Museum hosted the 2016 State of the County address.  221 county employees and community members came out to hear the address, given by Chairman Jack Terrazas of the Second District.

IV Food Bank Weekend Backpack Program brings food to students

The focus of the evening was "Fighting Hunger", and the Imperial Valley Food Bank was present to give information on the work the Food Bank is doing in our community.   According to the Food Bank, at least 1 in 3 Imperial County children live in food insecurity.  The Weekend Backpack Program is a direct solution to the problem of hunger for these children.  Teachers assign students to the Backpack Program and each Friday that student discreetly picks up food to fill their backpack- and their stomachs- for the weekend.  The Weekend Backpack Program now reaches 637 students in 35 different schools in Imperial Valley.  Thursday evening pledge cards were available to encourage support for this highly successful program, which costs $180 a school year per backpack.

Big thanks to museum staff & volunteers for their amazing work: Angelina Coble, Marcie Rodriguez, Edgar Bernal-Sevil, Albert Lutz. (not pictured: Leslie & Anne Morgan) 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Value of Membership-or, having more fun at the Museum

-from the Curator
Author Nicholas Clapp and his wife Bonnie at an Evening with an Expert

The value of membership at a museum, zoo, or any institution comes in many forms.  There's the positive feeling of supporting a group you believe strongly is important to help.  Often there are perks like behind the scenes tours, discounted admission, special member events, newsletters, etc.

Special member events, called FriendRaisers, are one of the perks of being a member at the Imperial Valley Desert Museum.  These events range from behind the scenes looks at making an exhibit to our popular series of Evenings with an Expert. All funds raised during our FriendRaisers go towards the Desert Museum's Endowment Fund, which is being matched 3:1 by a National Endowment of the Humanities Challenge Grant through 2019.  The goal of the Endowment is to raise enough money to fund two permanent professional staff positions at the museum. 

Last night, 32 members attended an Evening with an Expert FriendRaiser and listened to a fascinating talk by documentarian and author Nicholas Clapp.  Clapp discussed shamanism in Southern California, which he researched for his new book, Old Magic: Lives of Desert Shamans, published by Sunbelt Publications.

Old Magic: Lives of the Desert Shamans- Nicholas Clapp

The evening was enjoyed by all.  Members got to see the newest additions to the Museum's permanent exhibit, mix and mingle with the author and other members- forming new friendships that inspired one member to say " I feel like I've found another daughter". Clapp's talk gave everyone a new appreciation for the hard lives of desert shamans, their work and their world.  He answered questions and signed books after the talk.

Interested in becoming a member of the Imperial Valley Desert Museum Society? Click here to find out more and join today!

Members gathered to talk books, museums, the desert, and everything in between

Monday, February 1, 2016

Geodes and the Fair

-from the Curator

Saturday was a busy day at the museum and part of the fun was designing and installing a new exhibit in our "exit case" by the gift shop.  To get everyone excited about the upcoming Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta (February 26-March 6!) we partnered with the Gem & Mineral Society to showcase an amazing collection of geodes.

Read our Land of Extremes article on geodes and explore the incredible variety of geodes on exhibit here at the museum.  Then make sure to go to the Gem & Mineral Society building during the Fair where you can cut your own geode! Be the first to see the inside of an amazing stone from nature's treasure box!

Thanks to the Gem & Mineral Society for the temporary loan of these beautiful stones! On display at the Museum until March 6.