Lanesboro Museum just finished a three year project to enter all the artifacts in our collection into a searchable database. Quite a feat for a museum in a town of 750 people. We finished the project by reorganizing the photography room and giving our new acquisition, a Fifield painting of Matt Bue, its rightful place in the center of the exhibit.
Mr. Bue was a master artist at chronicling the Norwegian immigrant experience. Minnesota Historical society supported us over the projects with grants from the State Legislature Arts and Cultural Heritage fund, funded by Minnesota taxpayers.
Lanesboro Museum collaborates with local community agencies. One project was to bring WaterWays, a Smithsonian Exhibition, to Lanesboro this winter. We collaborated with the Commonweal, a local professional theater, to do a Readers’ Theater production of local water stories we collected. We loaned photos to Lanesboro Arts (http://lanesboroarts.org/ ) for a collaborative display of contemporary renderings of historic water photos. All the students in the Lanesboro K to 8 engaged in thinking activities with our special historic water artifact displays.
Another big collaboration with Lanesboro Arts was Youth Access Technology Project from the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum on Main Street program. Lanesboro Museum provided research expertise so the students could learn how to preserve Lanesboro’s history using modern technology. Three Lanesboro high school students each created high-quality, in-depth films running about 20 minutes that explore topics and issues relevant to both Lanesboro and other small communities throughout the country. The films were completed over the course of countless sessions of historical research, interviews with area residents, content editing, and communications & technology training.
Through their films and participation in this project, three Lanesboro students have demonstrated the profound impact of — and immense possibilities created through — including young people in the community decision making process and providing them with a platform to share community narratives.