Strategy #6: Examples

Balance Your Budget

A Vote of Confidence for the North Berrien Historical Museum - In 1992, a dedicated group of volunteers from the North Berrien Historical Society created the North Berrien Historical Museum in Coloma, Michigan.

Air Zoo Gamble Pays Off in Michigan - The Air Zoo opened in 1979 as the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum to showcase air and space flight through a collection of historic aircraft.

Bartering Provides a Win-Win Partnership for Historic House Museum - Keeping 1,000 acres mowed, weeded and cultivated at The Hermitage, the historic home of President Andrew Jackson near Nashville, Tennessee, always generated big expenses.

Boom to Bust and Back Again in Deadwood, South Dakota - Life was really good for the Adams Museum & House in the early 2000s. The introduction of gaming to Deadwood in 1989 had enabled the Adams Museum to expand their budget and hire a professional museum staff.

City Council Sees Lynchburg Museum System’s Success Up Close - Seeing is believing, and a tour of the Lynchburg Museum and historic home Point of Honor gave members of Lynchburg, Virginia’s City Council a chance to experience the museum as a community treasure.

Dinosaur Trail Links Sites in Eastern and Central Montana - In 2005, 10 funding partners including four tourism regions, two chambers of commerce, the federal Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Montana State Parks and the Montana Office of Tourism joined forces with 13 non-profits.

Economic Downturn Has Surprising Benefit for Hermitage Restoration - When President Andrew Jackson’s stately Greek Revival mansion was finished in 1836, the centerpiece of this 1,000-acre plantation near Nashville, Tennessee looked as if it was built for the ages.

Experiencing the Arts in August in Rhode Island - After carefully reviewing museum admission numbers, the Rhode Island School of Design decided to close their museum during the month of August in 2009 and again in August 2010 as a cost-cutting measure.

Gearing up for Success in Detroit - When the City of Detroit decided they could no longer fund the Detroit Historical Museum, the future of the museum looked bleak.

Grants Fund Discovery of the Past in Iowa - In working with Loess Hills Scenic Byway, a 200-mile route stretching through seven Iowa counties, Shirley Frederiksen faced her biggest challenge yet: documenting the Native American cultures that inhabited the region as far back as 1000 A.D.

Indiana Experience Brings the Past to Life - For almost 200 years the Indiana Historical Society has preserved, interpreted and shared the state’s history through its research library and archives as well as its publication and programming endeavors.

Knowing Visitors Helps History Sites Succeed - Attracting more visitors, writing successful grant applications, making the case for increased support from funders and targeting resources are ongoing tasks for historic sites and museums.

Maine Opens Center for Crafts - When the Maine Center for Crafts opened in December 2009 –in the midst of a nationwide economic recession – executive director Tracy Michaud Stutzman admits, “We were a little nervous about the economy.”

Marketing Services to Museum Members - The Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, Virginia began offering digital restoration services to its members in 2008. Their photo specialists will digitally restore and print old family photos for a fee and even offer free consultations.

Michigan’s Mackinac State Historic Parks Reaches Out to New Audiences - The U.S. economy may have plunged in 2008, but Michigan’s economy has been faltering since 2003. For the Mackinac State Historic Parks, this translated to years of declining state support and increased dependence on earned income.

Mississippi’s Thematic Trails Shine the Spotlight on Unique Culture and History - Sometimes economic difficulties can be a good thing – in effect, a wakeup call to redirect from doing things the way they have always been done.

Museum Merger Creates New Opportunities - “It is a rare occurrence in the nonprofit world when a museum seeks out another museum to entrust with its collections, to ensure those historical treasures are well cared for,” says Amy Lent, executive director of Maine Maritime Museum.

New Approach Results in New Partnerships - Even before the economic collapse of 2008, the Maine Maritime Museum’s leadership knew that economic development was a real need in Maine.

New Sculpture Trail Encourages Art appreciation and Exercise in New Mexico - The Billy the Kid Trail runs through the Village of Ruidoso and the Lincoln National Forest. The trail includes a town that Billy the Kid once called home—Lincoln, New Mexico.

Old Sturbridge Village - Old Sturbridge Village, a living history village in Massachusetts that depicts early New England life from 1790 to 1840, ended 2009 in the black for the first time in a decade.

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