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Museum Happenings - February 2024

The start of the new year has already witnessed multiple snow days and yet somehow record high temperatures as well. Despite these irregularities, interns are now settled in for the semester and collaborative classwork has resumed with the university with much promise. A few upcoming events are planned, some to honor military service and others to raise funds for the museum. With an unpredictable forecast, volunteers are set to work indoors for the next few months, or at least until the weather decides to make up its mind.

The Vietnam Exhibit created by the museum committee is finally installed. The center of the Armory now features artifacts from the conflict and highlights the men and women who served their country during that time. Additional sections include a commemorative wall where visitors can honor a loved one and a display highlighting the names of those who were not fortunate enough to make it home. Special thanks to Tim Kochik for helping to construct some of the exhibit elements and to Jeff Miller for helping to select artifacts and fill the various cases for the exhibit.

The fourth annual National Vietnam War Veterans Day Program is coming to the Historical Society on Friday March 22 starting at 6:00 pm. The evening falls in line with the national holiday commemorating those who served during the era. If you area veteran, and would like to participate in a special pinning ceremony, please contact the Society. A shuttle is being provided for the evening courtesy of Hill Top Baptist and parking is offered by Graystone Presbyterian. Light refreshments will be served at the conclusion of the ceremony. Please RSVP on our event form online or call the Society.

Kaylee Becker-George closes out her internship this month focusing on collections organization and exhibit design. Kaylee initially processed a small collection and has since worked towards helping to draft new policy and procedure for incoming donations. After a trial run to begin 2024, it is a vast improvement from the previous system and has things far more organized than ever before. Kaylee has also put in many hours towards refurbishing the Native American display and will hopefully have time to install the exhibit before her internship concludes.

Two new interns join the Society for the spring semester. Joshua Kriesman and Maddison Webster each have expressed an interest in cataloging and curation of the collection. Josh is working closely with Chuck Spence and the military artifacts as it is a natural interest of his. Josh is also working on refurbishing the entrance tot he military exhibit in the main stairwell leading to the displays. Maddison will be working on the medical display on the main exhibit floor, providing additional information and interpretation.

Interns are not the only ones working with items from the Society this semester. An IUP class focusing on collections and another presenting digital history will be working with artifacts this spring. The primary focus of the collections class will be cataloging material, and the digital history class will be exploring stories surrounding a set of the Society's artifacts. It is a double bonus to provide experience to up-and-coming professionals as well as see the stories behind each of these artifacts told.

The Photo Contest which began last month is in full swing, with submissions now rolling in. Voting will be live on the website beginning February 24 and will accumulate for the month of March, with a winner being announced at the Society's second annual trivia night. Trivia this year is titled "Time Traveler's Trivia" and is set to be a wonderful evening. The event will be catered by The Homemade Restaurant and will feature a meal to accompany the many questions.

The buildings and grounds committee is using the winter months to explore various quotes for the eventual resurrection of the flagpole. There will be plenty of heavy lifting involved, and that is best done in more favorable weather, so this project will need to wait until spring. An indoor workday is scheduled to clean the inside of both buildings this month. Special thanks to Ron Kuzemchak for staining the wood display cases in the entrance to the museum and painting them.

The efforts of our interns, committee members, volunteers, and staff have been exceptional to start the year. They have accomplished so much and are on a fast track for a successful 2024. Our committees have big plans and are exploring new ways to tell the stories of past county residents. Keep an eye on our blog for future developments and opportunities to watch Indiana County's past come to life.

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