Minnesota History: Building A Legacy

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To provide professional development for two staff members at the regional Association of Midwest Museums/Minnesota Association of Museums Conference, July 27-30, 2016.
To document in 12 interviews the history of Asian American-Pacific Islander immigrants to Minnesota
College Internship Program | $123,384 | 2016
College student interns representing Minnesota's diverse communities are placed across MNHS in various departments and sites. During their semester-long internships, students have the opportunity to work alongside museum and public history professionals to enhance their skills and apply their knowledge in a professional environment. The activities focus on engaging with MNHS on a deeper level by discussing current issues and trends with staff, sharing intern experiences, and building professional networks. In FY15, Legacy funds supported 114 college interns, who contributed over 18,400 hours at the History Center and historic sites. Forty percent of participants were from diverse communities. A larger number of diverse students had multiple internships with us, providing them with more experience and exposure to the work environment and enabling them to gain more work experience as they apply for professional jobs.
MNHS is developing new curricula, programs, and resources to engage students in learning about Minnesota history. In FY16 a full review of online resources for the K-12 audience will be completed and an action plan put in place to update content and the design of online curriculum offered to K-12 teachers and students. In addition, staff are working with the Oliver Kelley Farm to create new curricula and programs on agriculture, history, and STEM for K-12 teachers and students. Two new programs will be developed and piloted at the Oliver Kelley Farm in FY16. Staff are also researching a digital curriculum focused on the experiences of refugees who came to Minnesota in the 20th century. A prototype of the digital experience using Hmong refugee stories has been developed and will be tested with students in the winter of 2015-16. A funding proposal will be developed, based on the results of user testing, to complete development and production of the digital curriculum.
Increasing the public's online access to the MNHS permanent collections remains a top priority for the Collections Department. Since the beginning of FY16 (July 1, 2015), over 1,000 artifacts have been digitally photographed and cataloged. (About a third of the artifacts have been published to our online catalog.) This included American Indian material culture (338 items) as well as recent acquisitions and artifacts associated with the Minnesota State Fair (200 items) and popular music in Minnesota (345 items). The digitization of Ojibwe artifacts, World War I military artifacts, and the Hmong textile collection has now been completed. For the remainder of FY16, digitization will continue to focus on recently acquired artifacts, remaining American Indian artifacts, artifacts associated with upcoming History Center exhibitions, and artifacts relating to the topic of exploration and explorers.
Diversity Outreach | $131,031 | 2016
MNHS is working to engage Twin Cities youth in programming in order to increase their interest in history and the Minnesota Historical Society. MNHS promotes and recruits diverse students for programs that engage them in understanding how public organizations present historical narratives. One of these programs is the American Indian Museum Fellowship program (above). The funds also provide logistical support for diversity outreach efforts, which includes having tables at events and community engagement activities. Events that had an MNHS presence due to this funding include Juneteenth in North Minneapolis; J4 Soccer Tournament in St. Paul's Como Park; La Familia event at St. Paul's Neighborhood House Community Center; Twin Cities Black Film Festival; Cinco De Mayo in St. Paul's West Side; Hmong American Day on St. Paul's Harriet Island; and Twin Cities Pride in downtown Minneapolis. In addition, funds supported cosponsored events at the Minnesota History Center. We also hosted events for the Minneapolis Branch of the NAACP, Youthprise, and Pan-Asian Voice for Equity.
To enrich the internship experience, the Society is introducing additional discussions and classroom presentations for all college interns over a semester-long period. In addition, the Society plans to launch an educational summer program, in partnership with the University of Minnesota, directed at disadvantaged youth, focusing on skills that address the Minnesota State Learning Standards for History and Social Studies.
Hmong 40 Initiative | $735,320 | 2014
A 2,500-square-foot exhibition, "We Are Hmong/Peb Yog Hmoob," timed for the celebration of the 40th ...
To assemble historic resources preparatory to fabrication and installation of an exhibit on the history of Hmong immigration in Minnesota
To write a literature review of the Hmong community in Minnesota.
To hire qualified professionals to research and develop an exhibit on the folk cultural heritage of Hmong Minnesotans.
To install an exhibit on Hmong history in Minnesota.
Hmong Oral History Project | $20,000 | 2014
The Hmong Oral History Project aims to document Hmong stories and perspectives and for these intervi...
MNopedia is an award-winning online encyclopedia of Minnesota created by MNHS, designed for use by a general audience, teachers, and students. In 2015, the MNopedia library grew to include essays on Hmong, African American, and Jewish history, and articles on topics as diverse as Minnesota in World War I, immigration to the Iron Range, Dayton's department store, and the Grange in Minnesota. A new feature, This Day in Minnesota History, a Minnesota book of days, was added. The online newspaper MinnPost published MNopedia articles weekly. MNopedia partnered with the MNHS's Press, Education, and Public Programs departments to actively reach out to 7,800 visitors at 28 events, including visits to historic sites, History Center public programs, teacher workshops, and the Minnesota Library Association and Minnesota Educator Academy conferences. MNopedia's return visitation has increased by 4.9 percent for the period Jan. 1-Nov. 15, 2015, over the same period the previous year, while still reaching a high percentage of new users. MNopedia is commissioning new content on American Indian topics and overviews of Indian Americans and Latinos in Minnesota. Plans are being made to add the Minnesota Place Names database to MNopedia in 2016.
To document in 10 oral history interviews the history of Hmong farmers in Minnesota.
To hire a professional historian to document Hmong textiles in various repositories preparatory to an exhibit
Then, Now, Wow | $160,000 | 2017
Then Now Wow is a long-term educational exhibit designed specifically for Minnesota's children and families. This year staff created a comprehensive marketing strategy to increase overall attendance while driving specific increases among diverse families. New programs, including a monthly offering called WOW! Family Sundays, will give families the opportunity to discover the connections between old and new through activities, games, hands-on art projects and sharing stories. Student and teacher feedback informed work to improve the technology used for Play the Past, the in-gallery mobile application for K-12 students. New devices with the most current operating system will be purchased to replace aging devices. Additionally, the Minnesota History Center will improve the exhibit with the installation of a handicap lift for the boxcar. Focus groups were conducted with families from the Hmong community, the Somali community and families with children on the autism spectrum. Surveys were conducted with families attending programs, as well as non-visitor families in the metro area. Following this work, recommendations will be made to establish programs and resources for family audiences that promote inclusivity and engagement.
To translate into English from Hmong marriage and funeral cultural heritage customs to make both more accessible.
We Are Hmong Minnesota | $102,564 | 2016
We Are Hmong Minnesota, a 2,500-square-foot exhibit, debuted March 7, 2015, timed for the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the beginning of Hmong migration to Minnesota. MNHS staff worked in partnership with the Hmong community to develop the exhibit. A traveling version of the exhibit for loan to libraries, schools, and community centers was also developed and is currently circulating. A companion exhibit at the James J. Hill House displayed a collection of Hmong textiles recently donated to the Minnesota Historical Society. A new website aggregating collections and educational resources is now available at www.mnhs.org/hmong. The exhibit run was extended through Jan. 3, 2016, due to high demand. Initiating a new collaborative model, MNHS produced a marketing campaign designed in cooperation with members of the local Hmong community, which resulted in strong attendance by first-time visitors to the Minnesota History Center in FY15. More than 3,500 people attended on the exhibit's opening day, March 7, 2015, 75 percent of whom self-identified as Asian/Pacific American. The exhibit garnered impressive media coverage locally and nationally.

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This site is updated regularly with descriptions and data related to Legacy projects funded through the Minnesota Historical Society by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF).
Further information about the use and impact of all Legacy Funds can be found on the Minnesota Legislative Coordinating Commission's Minnesota's Legacy site.