Thursday, November 10, 2011

Unwrapping the Holidays

We are working hard behind-the-scenes to bring you the next Keller Gallery exhibition Unwrapping the Holidays: The History and Traditions of the Yuletide Season!

The exhibit includes many vintage Christmas decorations from our collection, including hand blown Christmas bulbs, Santa figurines, and a Precious Moments Christmas Village called Sugar Town!

We are also including history of Hanukkah traditions, Kwanzaa and the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha. We have lots of interesting programming coming up too, including a Soup at Six on November 17, Day After Thanksgiving activities, Holiday Open House on December 2, and the Open Hearth Dinner on December 9.

We hope to see you at the Museum this holiday season!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Long time, no blog!

I've been very good at updating the museum's Facebook page, but I've been neglecting Curator's Corner this year!

Here's what's been going on this summer:

I am currently obsessed with the flu. Our next Soup at Six program on October 6 will explore the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. It has been utterly fascinating to learn about this horrible disease, and how scientists finally cracked its genetic code 80 years later. If your interest is piqued, sign up for the Soup!

I have been catching up on collections work too. I've processed lots and lots of Deeds of Gift. I have also photographed all of the artifacts my volunteers have been diligently cataloging. It feels good to reduce the backlog a bit, but there is still so much more to do!

The marketing committee has been working hard to plan our fall fundraiser on September 23 -- "Meyers Lake: A Night Under the Stars." It promises to be a very special evening. Tickets are $55 per person and will include dinner from Carolina BBQ, a midway with games and prizes, and dancing to live recordings from the Moonlight Gardens and Moonlight Ballroom that originally aired on WHBC.

Green Revolution continues to be popular with our summer guests. This Keller Gallery exhibition closes the first Sunday in November. Come in and learn about how you can make the planet a better place! There are many small things we can all do to help.

Our Director Joyce Yut has been working with the Canton Fire Department for a special commemoration of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 on our grounds. It will be a very moving ceremony.

We were all saddened when Randy, our rabbit in Discover World, had to be put to sleep this week. But we have adopted a new bunny! Look for a naming contest soon down in DW.

This fall will be very busy with our regular special events (Halloween, Holiday Open House, Holiday Hearth Dinner, Fall Fundraiser) plus a new exhibit in the Keller Gallery exploring the history of Christmas and other winter holidays. Work will begin on that soon!

I hope to begin posting regularly again soon. In the meantime, please check out our Facebook page for the latest tidbits on what's going on here!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Another great car show!

We had a record-breaking number of cars at the 10th Annual Cruisin' Thru History CAR SHOW this past Saturday!

Thank you to everyone who came out with their classic rides, and to the many spectators who came to enjoy the cars. It was a great day.

This is just one of the 150+ cars we had on the grounds!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Catching up!

Now that Green Revolution is up, I've got a lot of collections work to do!

This year has been so busy, I am quite behind in getting my Deeds of Gift out in a timely fashion. I prefer to process them in batches, which means sometimes there is a 4-6 week wait. But I've gone from one major project to the next in 2011, so I haven't had a chance to work on my collections backlog. If you've donated something this year, your paper will go out this week!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Voting Booth burned to the ground last night

When I got to work this morning, I could not believe my eyes.

The little portable Voting Booth on the south side of our building was completely destroyed by fire around midnight last night. While we don't know who did it, we do know that there is no way it happened on its own. The building was not electrified, there were no storms in the area last night, and there was absolutely no way people were not involved. Whether it was intentional or a terrible accident that got out of control, we don't know.

What we do know is a piece of Stark County's history is now GONE.

I received a call in 2003 from Habitat for Humanity who was working on a project in the southeast end of town. They said there was an outbuilding on the property that was being used as a shed, but they thought it might have originally been a portable voting booth. They were used throughout Stark County through the mid-20th century, probably the late 1950s. They were placed in the precincts and used as a polling place.

Since we preserve both local and presidential history, it was a perfect opportunity for us. We saved it and brought it to the grounds.

I created an exhibit on voting history to put inside it. Panels talked about the Front Porch Campaign, the 1900 re-election, voting booth history, and general voting highlights over the years. It was open seasonally, free of charge.

Last fall we had the Voting Booth moved to make way for the wind turbine. We had a cement slab poured for it, and we made plans to enhance the exhibit sometime this year.

We are all just so very sad that the Voting Booth was destroyed. Personally, it was the first historic structure I had a part in saving, and I am really going to miss it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Green Revolution Opens Tomorrow Night!

We are just putting the finishing touches on Green Revolution, a unique traveling exhibit that opens in the Keller Gallery tomorrow night (June 17) with a FREE opening from 6 to 8 PM!

This exciting traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian has ZERO carbon footprint, because we are printing and building the exhibit in-house, based on plans supplied by the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibitions Service (SITES).

The exhibit engages children and families by addressing critical issues concerning the future health of our planet. The exhibit is divided into five sections: “Carbon Footprint,” “Composting & Gardening,” “Energy,” “Hybrid House,” and “Waste Not.” Our staff has been planning, designing and collecting materials to repurpose into creative and educational displays that will inspire people of every age to be part of the “Green Revolution!”

Green Revolution builds awareness of our fragile earth and demonstrates simple solutions to more effectively protect our air, water, soil, and wildlife. Modules include renewable energy, water usage, food choices and reducing our waste. Displays give practical tips on how to “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.” Visitors to the exhibit will learn the effects of climate change on ecosystems and will be able to explore learning modules that show what we can do in our daily lives to improve our Earth!

Have you ever seen a composting toilet? Lehman’s in Kidron is loaning one for the exhibit, as well as other kinds of products that can help you “go green” at your house. Several local businesses and green pioneers will be featured. You can also learn more about what the Museum is doing to reduce our own carbon footprint.

In the spirit of “reuse and recycle,” some components of Green Revolution will be added to Discover World after the exhibit closes in the Keller Gallery on Sunday November 6.

we are also pleased to announce a new partnership with EnviroCellular of Canal Fulton! The Museum will be a collection location for used cell phones that will be reused or recycled. The Museum will receive a portion of the proceeds from EnviroCellular.
You can help keep harmful toxins out of our landfills! We will debut this new program on JUNE 17 at the opening of the Green Revolution exhibit. You may bring your used cell phones to the exhibit opening or drop them off at the Museum anytime.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Celebrate the Sixties CLOSES this weekend!

All good things must come to an end...

The popular Celebrate the Sixties exhibit closes in the Keller Gallery this Sunday, June 5. It has been a tremendous success! And I'm sorry to see it come down. Although, I would like our convertible back since it is finally car show season!

The exhibit inspired many of you to donate 20th century items to our permanent collection. The backlog of new donations in my department is significant! But the artifacts are wonderful.

Next week the people who loaned items are coming in to pick up their stuff, and work will begin on installing our next exhibit -- Green Revolution. We've been working behind-the-scenes for months to get ready. This exhibit has an important message -- we are the stewards of this planet and we MUST think about how we are spending our limited natural resources! There are many simple things we can all do to help. This exhibit will show you how.

Change will come from the bottom up, meaning children "get" the message and are going to teach their parents why it is important to recycle, compost, and explore alternative energy sources.

My schedule for the Keller Gallery is always diverse, because we want to attract as many different audiences as possible. So we will go from the 1960s to green technologies to the history of Christmas! And that's just our 2011 schedule. Just wait 'til you see what we've planned for 2012.

There's lots of fun ahead, so we hope you'll stop by to see what's new in the Keller Gallery. Green Revolution opens on Friday June 17 with a FREE opening reception from 6 to 8 PM. We'll see you there!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

65th Anniversary Dinner!

Tonight the Museum is celebrating our 65th anniversary with a dinner and speaker. Doug Lucas from The Timken Company will discuss Wind Energy -- a timely topic for us with the installation of our wind turbine a few months ago, and the opening of Green Revolution in the Keller Gallery in a few weeks!

We have come so far since our humble beginnings in 1946! Back then, we didn't have a building or a staff. Just some history-minded people who wanted to preserve Stark County's past for the future.

In 1963 we opened our current building, which made a huge difference for our organization. Over the years, we have expanded it to add a larger library, the Street of Shops and a science wing that would later become Discover World.

And we have YOU to thank!

This community has been so wonderful to our Museum over the years. You come to our events, buy memberships, and donate your time, talents, money and precious heirlooms to us. We couldn't be more proud of what we do as we mark this important occasion!

Even after 65 years, we still have a lot more planned for you. Exhibits, events, programs and much, much more.

Here's to another 65 years!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

2011 Best of Stark County Awards!

Time is going by so fast, I can hardly believe I've let so much time pass since my last blog post!

Yesterday the museum was honored with two awards from the CVB -- Best Historic Site (for the Monument) and Best Museum! We are thrilled with the honor. We have won Best Museum three times since the awards were started in 2007, and we are so very thankful for all of the people that voted for us! When you know you have the support of your community, it makes our job so satisfying!

Celebrate the Sixties in still on view in the Keller Gallery until June 5. We are busily preparing for Green Revolution, which opens on Friday June 17. This is going to be like nothing we've every hosted in the Keller Gallery! We hope to see you for the free exhibition opening on June 17 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.

We are in the middle of the "busy season" with end of the year school field trips. Friday May 13 was our busiest day of the year with 300 students in the building! The kids were all fantastic and everything went very well for that number of people. Except the downpour in the afternoon that drenched a class who was heading down from the Monument! But alas, we cannot control the weather, can we? (If we could, we would have stopped all this rain weeks ago!)

My work computer continues to make it difficult for me to post on the blog, which is part of the reason I haven't posted as much this year. I will try to make my posts more regular. I've always loved this blog and have missed writing every week!

If you have a Facebook account, please "like" us -- we post daily, including a Historic Photo of the Week from our extensive archival collection.

Monday, March 7, 2011

What people are saying about the '60s exhibit!

I just went up to the Keller Gallery to check out the guest book for the "Celebrate the Sixties" exhibit. We're getting some GREAT comments!

Here's what people are saying:

"It was great to go back in time -- you have done a great job with the displays."

"This is a slam dunk!"

"What a professional work of art to display the Sixties!"

"I learned that my mom gets very nostalgic."

"Unbelievable that fashions of the 60s are now back in fashion."

"Groovy! I remember most of these items and music!"

"Thank you for the memories."

"I really loved the 60s exhibit. It brought back a lot of good memories."

"Very nice. You have captured the decade."

"My 3 year old enjoyed the record player and the real car!"

"We loved it! The commercials, the outfits, the toys, everything!"

If you haven't made it in to see the exhibit, it will be on view through Sunday June 5. We hope to see you soon!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Moving the 442

The 442 arrived safe and sound this morning! Oscar's Towing did an excellent job bring it in.

It will be on display in Celebrate the Sixties in the Keller Gallery from February 18 to June 5!

Celebrate the Sixties!

The White House Garden closed this past weekend, and we're feverishly working on Celebrate the Sixties! It opens TWO WEEKS from tonight!

With the snow days, it put a us a bit behind schedule, but we had an extra week built into this installation "just in case." So it will be ready.

Chris is en route with his 1969 Olds 442 convertible as I type. It will be featured in the exhibit, because the 1960s were the golden age of muscle cars! Other artifacts include Barbie, prom dresses, an above-the-knee wedding dress, Batman memorabilia, household items, and much more!

If you'd like to come to the opening, give us a call. Reservations aren't mandatory, but we like to get an idea of how many people will be there. The opening is February 18 from 6 to 8 PM. It is free and open to the public. Call 330-455-7043.

I'm about to go into collection storage to pull our Penny Brite doll!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

I need a 1960s men's dress shirt!!

Do you have one to loan? I'd love to talk to you ASAP!

Call me at 330-455-7043!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy 2011!!

Wow, it has been way too long since I've blogged! I don't forsee a solution to the hijacking nonsense that has happened to my computer, so it remains difficult to post from work. And no photos will upload either. :-(

We have been updating our Facebook page almost daily, so stop over if you're on FB!

We've got so many great things planned in the coming months. It's going to be a great year!

Don't miss our next Soup at Six: "Moving the President" next Thursday night (1/20). Pre-paid reservations are required. McKinley Day is January 29 -- actually the President's birthday this year -- which is free for members and special admission rate of $5 for everyone else. The White House Gardens closes in the Keller Gallery on Sunday January 30. IF you haven't seen it yet, you've got a few more weeks left.

Right now I am knee-deep in 1960s research for "Celebrate the Sixties!" which opens in the Keller Gallery on February 18. I'm also simultaneously working on the Bridal Show and McKinley Day (I'm in charge of that event). So my department is HOPPING right now!

On a personal note, I began teaching museum studies at Mt Union yesterday and had a fantastic time! The students are great and seem to be quite interested and curious about museum work. All of them had a list of museums they had been do in the past which was also great. I'm really excited for this opportunity to share my excitement about the field with them!

I also wanted to share the upcoming exhibits we have planned in the Keller Gallery for 2011 and beyond:

Celebrating the Sixties!
February 18 - June 5, 2011
Remember this tumultuous decade with funky clothing, hats, purses and more! We'll explore the fads, the headlines and the social movements that shaped the 1960s.

Green Revolution
June 17 - November 6, 2011
Green Revolution focuses on major themes of waste, energy, green pioneers, gardening and composting, green construction, and our carbon footprint. The Smithsonian provides venues with design plans which are built locally from recycled and repurposed materials. Great for families!

Unwrapping the Holidays: The History and Traditions of the Yuletide Season
November 17, 2011 - January 29, 2012
(The exhibit opening will be held Thursday night in conjunction with Soup at Six)
This delightful holiday exhibit explores the history behind some of our most cherished traditions and symbols of the holiday season. Unwrapping the Holidays looks at Hanukkah traditions, the meaning behind Kwanzaa, the Christmas tree, candy canes, mistletoe, holly, poinsettias, gingerbread houses, and of course -- Santa Claus!

Future bookings in the Keller Gallery include:

A trio of White House Historical Association exhibitions:
White House Horses; The West Wing; and James Hoban: White House Architect
May - October 2013

Black Wings: American Dreams of Flight
February - April 2014
The dreams of flight, freedom, and the view from above inspired by the Wright brothers were not segregated, but for almost 50 years after they took to the skies, the paths to the training and expertise necessary to become a pilot were. This Smithsonian traveling exhibition explores significant figures, events, and themes associated with African Americans in aviation and aerospace history.

May - August 2014
Charles Schulz touched on many aspects of the natural world during the nearly 50 years he
created the Peanuts comic strip (October 1950 to February 2000). During the 1950s and
1960s, Schulz*s characters explored aspects of the natural world with wonder and
delight, and their cockamamie understanding of the world around them afforded
many opportunities to introduce readers of the strip to
fun facts about the natural world.