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News & Press: President's Message

Museum Day - All for One, One for All

Tuesday, March 27, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Ryan Paul
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Living in Cedar City and traveling up north as often as I do, I have a lot of time to reflect and ponder the mysteries of life.  Well, not so much the mysteries of life, but how much Diet Coke I can drink before I have to exit the freeway.  My return trip from Museum Day proved the exception.  I was focused much less on the standard travel problems, weather, traffic, inconsiderate drivers, and more on the fantastic experience I just had. For those of you who don’t know, and hopefully there are very few of you, Museum Day is an opportunity for those who work in and love museums to network with their legislators.  Sponsored in part by the Utah Museums Association and the Office of Museum Services Advisory Board, 2012’s Museum Day saw over 40 museums communicating their needs to each other and to their legislators.

The logistical tasks were Herculean, and Wendi Hassan, Jayceen Craven-Walker, and Ruth White, along with their accompanying boards, carried them out flawlessly.  Not only did these folks have to coordinate the arrival and departure of a menagerie of museums, they had to create legislative timetables to get the participants to the right place at the right time.  Many Senators and Representatives also toured the myriad of exhibits that were set up in the rotunda.  It is vital to the success of all our institutions that the message of our importance and relevance is communicated to our elected representatives.

I am amazed at the diversity of museums in our state.  In the rotunda we had displays from art, history, and science museums from every corner of Utah.  We even had live animals.  I am always excited to see what The Living Planet Aquarium, Tracey Aviary, and the Hutchings Museum of Natural History will bring.  Additionally, I enjoy visiting with my peers from throughout the state.  Other than the UMA Conference, which by the way is looking amazing this year, Museum Day is the largest gathering of museum professionals in Utah.  I learned that the Kimball Art Center in Park City is expanding into an additional structure that will further enhance their collection and looks way cool.  I also learned that the Utah Museum of Fine Arts is opening an awesome exhibit of racecars of the Bonneville Salt Flat variety, and that it is possible to bring a full-size buggy into the capitol.  I also had a pretty good hamburger in the cafeteria.

Museum Day 2013 will be held on February 12 and there will be more information to follow.  In partnership with the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, the Utah Museums Association will be providing additional training on advocacy and how best to communicate your message to local and state leaders.  Both groups are committed to your success. Please remember that the work you do is important, valuable, economically viable, and relevant.  I would encourage you to visit the following link to see a video and slideshow about Museum Day 2012.

Thanks to the staff at the Utah Division of Arts and Museums for creating this piece.  I especially like the talent chosen to open the video.  I wonder what he is doing now?

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