The Barland Gallery:
Changing Currents: Reinventing the Chippewa Valley
Many different people have called the Chippewa Valley home over the past 400 years. In every era, new arrivals to the region brought their own ideas about how to live here. Changing Currents explores how groups of people from a variety of cultures mixed, and sometimes came into conflict. The exhibit also traces how all of these different people adapted to significant changes in the local economy.
Using the stories of real people, Changing Currents takes visitors on a journey through time. The exhibit begins in "canoe country," the Chippewa Valley at a time when Algonquin birchbark canoes brought many new people, goods, and ideas into the region. Visitors make stops at an Ojibwe annuity payment, a steamboat, and a shopping mall, among other places. They meet a variety of interesting characters, from French voyageurs and Chicago vacationers to a bald eagle named Old Abe.
Farm Life: A Century of Change for Farm Families and Their Neighbors, is a story of profound change for farm families and rural communities. As visitors travel to the various parts of the exhibit -- the farmhouse, the fields, the barn, and various local gathering spots -- they will explore how the political, economic, and cultural roots of the Chippewa Valley influence families today on and off the farm.
Object Theater: This Day
Through images, music, sounds, and the voices of real people, the 18-minute multimedia exhibit tells the story of how farm families worked together to tame the land, build homes, and make a way of life in the Chippewa Valley. It also seeks to answer the question “Why farm?”
During a six-year oral history project, CVM put that question directly to scores of farm families. It is not an easy question to answer. They mentioned a love of the land, working outdoors, variety, independence. On a more figurative level, the answers that Chippewa Valley farmers gave have a common thread, and that thread is about how each day goes, and how one day flows into the next.
Ayres Associates Gallery: Picture of Health
Health and wellness have been hotly debated topics for decades. Which foods are healthiest? What is the best way to stop an epidemic? Who is most qualified to care for sick people? Picture of Health invites visitors to think about these questions and more, and to explore what "a picture of health" has meant to Chippewa Valley residents of different backgrounds and in different time periods. Volunteers we call "community historians" led exhibit development, learning research skills and museum practices in the process.
RCU Children's Gallery: History Quest
History Quest sends children and adults on a quest to discover historical differences in the ways families acquire and use food, shelter, and clothing. Along the way, they will learn how to “do” history by examining various sources related to the stories of five families in the Chippewa Valley.