Minnesotans looking for fun, interesting places to visit around the state now have a new tool at their fingertips—the Minnesota Museums mobile app. The development of this free app, which launched in May 2013, was funded through a partnership grant from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF).
“Our goal was to draw attention to the amazing museums across the state,” said Lin Nelson-Mayson, director of the Goldstein Museum of Design and chair of the Minnesota Association of Museums (MAM). “The app is designed to be interactive. It allows users to find museums, create an itinerary, save pictures and make comments.” Available for both Apple and Android devices, the app was conceived as a way to promote museums in the Twin Cities. Legacy Amendment-funding allowed MAM to complete the application and expand it statewide. More than 500 museums and other cultural organizations are now searchable. Minnesotans and visitors can search or browse through a wide variety of categories, such as Art, History, Science and Youth or by Location, and then choose the places that interest them.
Explore Minnesota Tourism, the state’s tourism office, is helping to promote the app during May – designated as Museum Month. “We’re also developing a promotional kit for museums across the state that includes ideas for publicizing the app as an accessible, way-finding tool,” added Nelson-Mayson.
In 2014, a new ACHF-partnership grant is allowing MAM to expand its mission of promoting the success of Minnesota museums and supporting the development of museum staff. The FY14 grant will assist with the funding of a part-time managing coordinator for MAM, which has until now been entirely run by volunteers. With the addition of this role, MAM will be able to expand its professional development offerings and better promote the opportunities already being offered by agencies and organizations across the state. “We’ll be able to bring professional development opportunities to more locations and reach museum staff and volunteers beyond the annual MAM conference,” said Nelson-Mayson.
Since MAM’s inception, the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) has been a strong partner with the association. “The Minnesota Historical Society’s work is very much in line with what we are trying to do—engage audiences and foster the advancement of museums across the state,” she concluded. “We are grateful to MNHS and to the Minnesota Legislature for their support.”
For more information about the Minnesota Association of Museums, go to www.minnesotamuseums.org. To download the mobile app, go to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and search “Minnesota Museums.”