By Carrie Dilley, Visitor Services and Development Manager
Here on our blog we like to give our readers a sneak peek behind-the-scenes and share the “how” and the “why” behind what we do. We constantly strive to find new ways to share the Seminole story and help preserve Seminole history. It’s critical that we stay relevant in the Seminole community and in the Museum field as a whole.
We opened our doors in 1997 and helped make a name for tribal museums across the country. Over the past 20 years we have created and hosted top-notch exhibits and programs, and vastly increased our collection. But over the past few years there’s been a desire to do more. Share more. Exhibit more. Educate more.
In 2015, we officially embarked on a journey to tell more of the Seminole story within our four walls. Our current exhibits are great, but they are limited in their scope and only tell a small part of the overall story. We try to fill in some of the gaps by utilizing our temporary exhibition spaces to highlight topics not covered in our permanent galleries, but we still lack the opportunity to completely immerse our visitors in Seminole history and culture.
By working directly with the Seminole community, our Exhibits team has overseen the development of a plan that utilizes the existing overall space to provide a dynamic experience full of oral histories, vivid imagery, and facets of culture that help us fulfill our mission. In the exhibit redesign plan, the exterior of the Museum will remain unchanged, but the interior of the structure will be completely re-imagined save for the library, archives, and restrooms. Studio Techtonic, the exhibition design firm we hired to head up the project, has just completed the schematic plans, which ready us for the next phase in the process—development of the construction documents. We anticipate we have another 2-3 years until the project is complete, but we grow more excited with each step.
Last year we launched Telling Our Stories, an $8 million campaign to make the redesign project a reality. We are proud of what we accomplished and well aware that we couldn’t have done it alone. With the continued support of our donors and the Seminole Tribe of Florida we have reached our initial 500K milestone.
Please make a gift to Telling Our Stories Campaign today to preserve one of the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s most definitive cultural resources. You can help us ensure that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the powerful stories the Museum has to tell. Your tax-deductible gift to the Telling Our Stories Campaign, in any amount, impacts our work. Thank you for your continued support.