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Press Releases Museums Statewide Introduce Minnesota Museums Month in May 2012

New annual celebration of museums and their communities launches in conjunction with the American Association of Museums 106th Annual Meeting in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Minneapolis, MN. March 15, 2012—A statewide museum celebration will debut in Minnesota this May—Minnesota Museums Month. The program is a collaboration among museums of all types—historical, art, science, military, zoos, arboretums and more—to raise awareness of the importance of museums across the state in contributing to and sustaining community. Minnesota Museums Month will be an annual program held each May.

“Over the past decade, museums have made great strides in engaging their communities and becoming active partners in the civic life of their towns and regions,” said Lin Nelson-Mayson director of the Goldstein Museum of Design and Chair of the Minnesota Association of Museums. “More recently, museums have begun to help create communities through shared partnerships and vision. We hope that the comprehensive, statewide focus of Minnesota Museums Month will celebrate these engaged museums and their communities.”

According to the Minnesota Association of Museums, Minnesota has approximately 600 museums—one for every 9,000 residents, which is twice as many as the national average. Every county in the state has at least one museum—55 in Minneapolis-St. Paul alone, which is twice as many as in Chicago. The total economic impact of Minnesota museums is over $300 million annually.

During the month of May, special events and programs will take place at museums across Minnesota. Examples include:

• The Bakken Museum’s “Mothers of Invention,” a day-long celebration of women in science, featuring a live performance of a play about Mary Shelley plus talks by women scientists (May 12, www.thebakken.org

• The Minneapolis Institute of Arts’ “The Sports Show,” which spotlights the artistic and cultural impact of sports media through iconic photographs (through May 13, artsmia.org)

• Woodland pottery workshops at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post (May 12 and 19, www.mnhs.org/places/sites/mlim/

• Walker Art Center’s “Lifelike,” a international and multi-generational exhibition featuring artworks that are startlingly realistic and sometimes surreal (through May 27, walkerart.org

In addition, the Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA) will offer a special promotion during Minnesota Museums Month. Each day in May, MELSA will award a free membership at a selected Minnesota museum to a member of the public, drawn at random. The public can enter the drawing by visiting MELSA’s website at www.melsa.org.

Minnesota Museums Month launches in conjunction with the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Museums. Being held in Minneapolis/St. Paul, the meeting will welcome more than 5,000 museum professionals from institutions in every state and more than 30 countries. Minnesota’s vibrant museum and cultural community provides an ideal setting for this year’s theme, “Creative Community.”

“As a Minnesota native, I have experienced the strong sense of community found throughout Minnesota first-hand,” said AAM president Ford W. Bell. “Minnesota’s museums have played an important role in forging those community bonds, and Minnesota Museum Month will give the state’s great institutions the opportunity to share their creative approach to community building with museum professionals from around the world.”

For more information about Minnesota Museums Month, visit www.museumsmonth.org

About AAM

The American Association of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906. It represents more than 18,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, almost 3,000 institutions, and 250 corporate members. Every type of museum is represented including art, history, science, military and maritime, and youth museums, as well as aquariums, zoos, botanical gardens, arboretums, historic sites, and science and technology centers.

The meeting explores the latest trends in museum management, collections stewardship, education, marketing, public relations, technology, development and fund raising.

The American Association of Museums’ mission is to strengthen museums through leadership, advocacy, collaboration and service.

For more information about AAM visit www.aam-us.org