Local students and visitors have been flocking to the Uinta County Museum in Evanston, Wyoming since it opened Between Fences a few weeks ago. The museum's director, Barbara Allen Bogart, reports on their successful programs:
"Our accompanying exhibits include entries in the quilt challenge and photo contest, and several display panels on "Famous Fences." Members of a local 4-H Club took photos of fences in the county; a middle school teacher had her students produce quilt blocks on the theme of fences. One of the high school art teachers challenged her students to produce art work on "personal fences" -- the result is six brightly colored corrugated metal panels erected like a fence in the front of the building and an "accordion book" display inside the Museum. We also created a "velcro poetry" poetry board (similar to Magnetic Poetry) made with about 200 individual words printed on colored paper, then mounted on foam core, with velcro on the back (painstakingly put on by a volunteer). We have folding table-top panels with fabric covering that people can use to arrange the words.
The local Murdochs ranch supply store loaned us two eight-foot metal gates. We put them up outside the building and mounted large signs on them that can be read from the street -- "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors," "Don't Fence Me In," and "How do you build your fences?"
At our opening reception on Saturday, the local civic choir performed several fence-themed songs and we announced the winners of the quilt and photo contests. Mike McClure from Lander presented the photo awards. We had more than 100 people attend the reception and see the exhibit.
On Monday, more than 100 eighth graders visited us; on Tuesday, it was 60 fourth graders. We have scheduled all the 4th, 7th and 8th grade students in the district to see the exhibit. We have trained 10 volunteer docents to lead the school tours -- all of them are former teachers, which works like a dream. They are happy to be involved and they are accustomed to working with children. Most importantly, they are able to take the suggestions in the docent handbook and translate them into kid terms.
When we have more students than we can accommodate in the building, we have an activity center in an adjacent building where kids can create acrostic poems, use our velcro poetry board, work on a fence matching activity, play with Lincoln Logs, and discuss the images on the classroom poster. These activities are for younger students; the middle school students really enjoy the activity sheets that were provided with the exhibit. We created a board with photos of various scenes that required fences. Students had to match the fence pieces (which are printed on both sides) with the scenes, so that the fence on each side of the piece matches the scene.
Uinta County Museum's fence matching game
The newspaper is giving us great coverage. We placed a couple of ads in the newspaper, free ads on two local access cable stations, and posters plastered all over town. Other forms of publicity that are working especially well are box-toppers at the local Dominos and table tents at local restaurants. We have already had visitors in the Museum who learned of the exhibit through these media. At Dominos, we produced 500 half-sheets announcing the exhibit that they taped to pizza boxes at no charge. Now that the exhibit is launched, we feel like we can relax a little! So far, so good!"
Congratulations to everyone in Evanston for their great efforts! To find out more about their local programs, visit the museum's website at http://www.uintacounty.com/index.asp?nid=28
-- Robbie Davis, Museum on Main Street, SITES, Washington, DC