DACOTAH PRAIRIE MUSEUM WINS ASDM AWARD
Recognition for Excellence in Community Programming
[ABERDEEN, SD December 2020] — The Dacotah Prairie Museum’s Summer Program for Museum Families has won the Excellence in Community Programming or Collaboration 2020 Award from the Association of South Dakota Museums (ASDM).
The museum staff found themselves physically disconnected from their patrons during four months of being closed to the public due to the global pandemic in early 2020. Although staff were working during that time, it became clear there was a need for outreach and enrichment for the many museum families that participate in summer camps, workshops and exhibit tours.
In response, the staff created history packets and art kits to distribute to interested families for 9 weeks, every Monday in June and July. Each history packet had a theme, stories about real people in Brown County history, road trip suggestions, Brown County ghost town stories, and a scavenger hunt based on one of the historic buildings at the Brown County Fairground’s Centennial Village. Each art kit had an instruction sheet, examples and supplies. The art projects were modified for young children or more elaborate for older children. Families were encouraged to send pictures of the projects and scavenger hunts to be posted on social media. Museum staff handed out over 1,000 history packets and about 700 art kits; servicing about 60-80 families each week.
“We were thrilled to learn that ASDM bestowed this honor on our summer program,” said Patricia Kendall, Museum Director. “The entire staff worked on this project and while it was well-received by our patrons, it was especially uplifting to our staff to be interacting with our museum families during this very different year.” Winning this award “makes the connection with our community seem even more special,” noted Kendall.
The Dacotah Prairie Museum reopened to the public in July with limited hours but is now open regular hours. Exhibits and gift shop are open with new and regular displays. Patrons are encouraged to wear masks, social distance and use hand sanitizer stations throughout the museum.
History packets and art kits are available for download any time at https://brown.sd.us/dacotah-prairie-museum/kids-and-families/kids-activities