Networking, new solutions at first regional museum meeting

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The first meeting of Northern California museum directors and board members was held on Feb. 11, at the Sacramento Valley Museum.

Invitations were sent out by the local museum board and the response was enthusiastic, officials said.

The museum was opened up to accommodate 27 visitors, hailing from 11 museums.

“We wanted to know what other museums were doing,” said Caroline Vann, the Sacramento Valley Museum board member who coordinated the meeting. “They really gave us some food for thought.”

Vann said the board learned they were in the same boat as many other struggling Northern California museums.

Some of the topics discussed were fundraisers, how to pay employees, taxes, and how to appeal to new visitors, including youth.

They also discussed how to meet ADA requirements for the building and how to find new technologies that will make the museum an interactive as possible for people who are unable to access all of the building.

The collaborative decided to publish a trifold brochure with a map highlighting the network of museums.

“I learned a lot,” said Julie Stone, museum director. “I learned that we were all going through the same thing.”

This meeting was the first of its kind, but is not to be the last. The next joint meeting is tentatively scheduled this September at a museum in Lake County. ■