My first year as Director in 2010 was a chance to figure out what the Museum was all about. We featured a couple of traveling exhibits, "Gold Fever!" and "Past Tents: A History of Camping", and we experimented with several community events, from the Chinese Lantern Festival Dinner to our first Heritage Ranch Tour and Campfire Programs.
Last year, 2011, we exponentially increased our activities and launched our first Countywide Artwork Outreach with the "Why Mendocino?" Collage Project, our first home-grown exhibit with "A Passion for Plants & Place: Carl Purdy of Mendocino County", our first Wine Heritage Brunch, and our first Holiday Open House.
This new year, we are focusing on anchoring our most successful programs and including different topics and directions that exemplify Mendocino County, from wine history to veterans history, from ranch heritage to solar energy, from reactivating our dark room for photography to celebrating our do-it-yourself heritage with a Mini Maker Faire.
What happens behind-the-scenes is just as important, though our limited resources have most negatively affected this area. To date, we have not been able to implement or update a computerized system for donors and donations, for documentation of collections and exhibits, or for our store and publishing program. Research access to artifacts and archives is currently almost impossible to arrange. Nor have we yet been able to address necessary facility repairs. We hope to make progress in these areas as well this year.
Being the Museum for all of Mendocino County is not a one-shot, narrow-range endeavor and trying to encompass all that has gone into making us Mendocino is exhilarating and daunting at the same time. We need the ideas and involvement of the people and communities from throughout Mendocino County. Especially as we get ready to celebrate our 40th anniversary!
Do you know where your Mendocino County Museum is ??? Check us out. Tell us what you think. Discover your story! ~ Alison