New exhibit officially named

Posted: March 12, 2014

First of all, many of you shared your opinions with us through the survey, especially volunteers and members. Thank you! The final title ideas came largely from your feedback. After considering many different options and doing our best to capture the essence of the new exhibit, we're proud to announce a title!

Changing Currents: Reinventing the Chippewa Valley


Why we chose it:

"Changing Currents" ties the metaphor of a river to the exploration of our regional history. We often talk about history using similar language: the course of history flowed this way or that. Change happens in waves or tides. Secondly, "Changing Currents" underscores the importance of the Chippewa River and its tributaries to our history. As means of food, transportation, waterpower, and recreation, the river system has shaped much of our cultural heritage. The river has also been a source of contention over who has rights to use it and in what ways. Finally, "Changing Currents" reflects the vision of our talented designer. Visitors will experience the exhibit as a journey both on a river and through time, stopping off to become immersed in a number of key moments where the direction or force of historical currents changed.

When the currents of history changed, residents of the Chippewa Valley repeatedly reinvented the local economy and redefined what it meant to live here. The second part of the title recognizes the fortitude and creativity of people in the Chippewa Valley, who helped reshape different parts of the region whenever times got tough. This ongoing process of reinvention brought us where we are today.

Lastly, many of you--and many of the staff--have grown accustomed to the title Intersections. It was used throughout the planning process. I want to assure you that the concept of Intersections guided the design and will be clearly apparent in the final exhibit. While the word "intersections" accurately describes the way we tell the story, it also carries its common usage of streets, roads, stoplights, etc. Our survey results showed that for an audience less familiar with the planning of this exhibit, the word appeared to be a major source of confusion.

So thank you in advance for joining the staff in the difficult process of retraining ourselves to call the new exhibit Changing Currents: Reinventing the Chippewa Valley.

Our next step is to turn these words into an interesting graphic that will welcome visitors to the exhibit.

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