Museum News & Happenings 10/30/2020

Posted: October 30, 2020

So this happened this week -- the first in-person guided tours since March 12! Four small groups of students participating in Learning Pods at Pablo Center at the Confluence toured the confluence area with volunteer Richard Kraemer and Museum Educator Karen Jacobson. Students learned more about where they've been planted, so to speak. 

Staff from the Pablo Center and Chippewa Valley Museum are working out more learning opportunities for students, and that's exciting, on many levels. These times call for creative collaboration. (It could be argued that all times call for creative collaboration, but you know what I mean.)

The Nostalgia Awakens Star Wars exhibit postponed 

This week we made the difficult decision to postpone the Nostalgia Awakens exhibit until fall 2021. Chippewa Valley Museum is committed to best health and safety practices, and that means limiting the numbers of people in the museum.  We anticipate The Nostalgia Awakens, with its 100 original Kenner Star Wars toyswill be a popular exhibit, especially with families. Hosting a popular exhibit at a time when the pandemic is worsening in the Chippewa Valley is not in the best interest of teh community or the museum. Postponing the exhibit by a year will enable more people to see this amazing collection.

Farm Life Harvest raises $11,800!

You'll be glad to hear the $10,000 goal was met, and then some. Huge THANK YOU to the presenters, sponsors, members, donors, volunteers, and participants who made this event possible. With your help, Chippewa Valley Museum was able to contribute $230 to the Wisconsin Farmers Union for beginning farmers, connect with area growers, and raise much needed funds for museum programs. 
Photos stills from a video produced by Yia Lor for Farm Life Harvest. The video covers HMoob (Hmong) changes in Hmong farming practices. Yia had planned to present in person and quickly made this video when the event went 100% virtual.

Collecting the Valley Series Starts November 17

Once a month, Curator of Collections Diana Peterson shares stories as told through artifacts in the museum’s collection. This new program series takes place third Tuesdays at 6:00pm. $15 for all three programs for members, or $10 per program for non-members. 
  • November 17th: Old Eau Claire – Explore eight historic Eau Claire businesses in depth, and hear tidbits about dozens more. This program will include then and now photos as well as museum objects.   
  • December 15th: Evolution of Barbie™ -- Barbie gets a lot of criticism, but is it deserved? Learn the story of Barbie’s creation and observe changes over time through dolls and accessories in the museum’s collections.  
  • January 19th: Midwest Pottery -- Learn the history of seven Midwest pottery companies and view some of the collectible pieces they produced.  
Paid registration and an internet connection are required for participation. A limited number of in-person seats are available upon request.  Call Angela Allred, 715-834-7871. More details are at

Nostalgia at Noon November 11, 12:00 pm

Love from Afar: Long Distance Relationships

Attention Members and Volunteers! This interactive virtual series is for you to put aside for a moment current events and recollect the past. Participants share or simply listen to common experiences. Connect by phone or internet.

Register here. The link will be sent to you the Monday before the program. To register and attend the program by phone, call 715-834-7871 and ask for Angela. **Long distance rates apply for landlines.

Future Nostalgia at Noon:
December 9: Winter fun. Recall those days of frozen mittens and backyard hockey.

January 13: High School hangouts. Fournier’s or the Mall? Where did you go to get away?

February 9: Memorable Dates - as in first dates, worst dates, favorite dates. 

Ice Cream Comes Indoors!

We all knew it would happen. Cold and winter, that is. Starting this Saturday, October 31, the ice cream parlor will open indoors for takeout orders only. The seating section of the parlor remains closed.

Ice Cream Parlor Hours of Operation:
Tuesdays, 5-8 pm
Saturdays, 1-4 pm

Coming soon -- Gingerbread House Contest!

Back by popular demand, Gingerbread House Contest registration opens November 7. There will be options for virtual and in-museum entries. Watch our website and social media accounts for more details. Enter by November 21.

As always, hang in there. 

Chippewa Valley Museum Director

P.S. I spent the last few weeks thinking deeply about the past year in preparation for the museum's annual meeting on October 26. Some takeaways from the many reports and photos I reviewed:

1. Chippewa Valley Museum ended its fiscal year in in a much better place, financially and programmatically, than I ever thought it would when the pandemic began in March.

2. A lot of technology was learned in a very short amount of time, and not just by staff.

3. Social media can be used for good.

4."Challenging" is an overused adjective but usually the most appropriate one when making reference to "these times."  

5.  It takes a community to make things happen. The Museum is where it is today because of efforts by many, not just a few. Staff, volunteers, members, businesses, government, residents, other non-profits  -- all have played important roles in moving Chippewa Valley Museum forward.

Below is a video review of the last year. See what you made happen.
Chippewa Valley Museum's year in pictures
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