Wisconsin Historical Society

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2017 Public Program Award Winner Announced

2017 Public Program Award Winner Announced | Wisconsin Historical Society

The Iron County Historical Museum received the 2017 Public Program Award from the Wisconsin Historical Society for its "Night at the Museum Flashlight Tour."

About the Program

The “Night at the Museum Flashlight Tour” cleverly used Halloween motifs and eerie displays of artifacts to attract more than 200 guests for behind-the-scenes tours (in a town with a population of 1,500). Artifacts which had ghoulish connotations, such as medical devices and mortuary furnishings, were highlighted. Costumed interpreters shared stories about the objects and their connections to the community; some imitated the lifeless manikins in the collection, challenging visitors to tell life from death in the twilight of the museum.

Staff promoted the event energetically in the local press, social media, handouts from local school teachers, and printed flyers distributed to businesses in a 30-mile radius. Summer programs usually draw tourists, and this as an attempt to draw permanent year-round residents into the museum. Planners expected 50 visitors but received over 200. From conception, through promotion, to execution, the “Night at the Museum Flashlight Tour” showed creativity and professionalism.

About the Award

This award honors outstanding work in a new Wisconsin history public program. The award is presented to a Wisconsin organization that has launched an exceptional history public program during the preceding year.

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