Building Local Loyalty at the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center

Strategy: Focus on Customer Potential, Serve Local Community

Type of attraction: Museum/Historic Site

Summary: The Kentucky Gateway Museum Center in Maysville, Kentucky started a “Museum Scouts” program for fourth-graders who were studying Kentucky history. The result has been a program that builds long-term loyalty to the museum.

The Kentucky Gateway Museum Center in Maysville, Kentucky started a “Museum Scouts” program for fourth-graders who were studying Kentucky history. The result has been a program that builds long-term loyalty to the museum.

Each year the museum brings in two groups of students selected by their teachers from public and parochial schools. “Students spend nine weeks learning how to ‘do’ local history,” says Lynn David, visitor services and communications director. Activities may include learning how to take an oral history – including taking pictures with cameras provided by the museum, how to make Indian pots and educational sessions on the Underground Railroad, Civil War, genealogy and behind-the-scenes tours of the museum.

Students are given museum memberships that are effective as long as they are in school, and they also become Junior Guides. Some students who participated in the program are now in college and still serve as guides. “It is important in raising the next generation to appreciate history and the museum and to have a base of support in tough economic times.” David says. For more information, contact Lynn David at communications@kygmc.org.