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(11.09.2002 , United States, EAST LANSING )
MSU Museum News & Notes, 8/30/02

Some timely items to share:
-MSU Museum Re-accredited by American Association of Museums
-MSU Museum's FairTime Project Receives National History Award
-September 11 Observances Set
-MSU Federal Credit Union Dinosaur Dash Set for Oct. 6
-'MSU Campus: Buildings, Places, Spaces' Book Published Fall 2002

Excellence awarded
The Michigan State University Museum has garnered the highest honor a museum can receive, earning re-accreditation from the American Association of Museums (AAM), Washington, D.C.

Accreditation certifies that a museum operates according to standards set forth by the museum profession, manages its collections responsibly and provides quality service to the public. Of the 8,000 museums nationwide, fewer than 800 are accredited by AAM. The re-accreditation process reaffirms the museum's continued commitment to excellence, educational leadership, public service, and growth and development.

The MSU Museum has been accredited by the AAM since 1977 and was awarded the renewed accreditation in August after a site visit and evaluation by a panel of museum professionals from around the country over the last year. The MSU Museum also became a Smithsonian Institution affiliate in 2001, establishing ongoing exchanges for collections, programs and research activities.

"We hope the state of Michigan shares our pride in having earned this prestigious honor," states Kurt Dewhurst, MSU Museum Director. "This process was rigorous and demanding, and we examined virtually every aspect of our museum's operation. We invite the community to come and explore our museum and enjoy the high-caliber exhibits and programs, as well as our many traveling exhibits and statewide outreach programs."

The Michigan State University Museum collects, preserves, studies and interprets cultural artifacts and natural history specimens, with collections numbering more than 2.5 million in four buildings on the MSU campus. The MSU Museum is committed to understanding, interpreting and respecting natural and cultural diversity. As Michigan's land grant university museum, this commitment to society is met through education, exhibitions, research and the building and stewardship of collections that focus on Michigan and its relationship to the Great Lakes and the world beyond.

The MSU Museum just produced the Great Lakes Folk Festival in downtown East Lansing and is currently featuring special exhibits: "The Age of Packaging," celebrating the 50 years of packaging technology with MSU's School of Packaging, "Story-telling through the Mail: Tall Tale Postcards," and a look at humor, exaggeration and visual trickery in the postcard form; and "The Michigan 4-H History Project," marking the national centennial of 4-H's head-heart-hands-health.

The MSU Museum is located on West Circle Drive, next to Beaumont Tower on the Michigan State University campus. Hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. Sundays. Admission to the MSU Museum is free (donations are welcome), and the museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. For more details, call (517) 355-2370 or see .

The fairest of them all
The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) announces that the Michigan State University Museum is the 2002 recipient of an AASLH Award of Merit for "The FairTime Project."

AASLH has presented the Award of Merit since 1945 as the highest recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of local, state and regional history. The MSU Museum will be honored at the 2002 AASLH Annual Meeting in Portland, Ore., later this month.

Meanwhile, in Michigan the MSU Museum will also be recognized with a special presentation at the Hillsdale County Fair, on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 4 p.m. at the Women's Congress Building. The Hillsdale County Fair, one of the oldest in the state, participated in the MSU Museum's FairTime project -- contributing to the exhibit development and a documentary film on Michigan fairs. The Hillsdale fair is also celebrating some of its own history this year with the restoration of its historic Grange Hall.

The MSU Museum's FairTime Project began in 1995 and was highlighted by a series of special exhibitions and educational programs in 2000-2001 examining fairs, titled "It's FairTime! ReDISCOVER Our Agricultural Roots." Three exhibits explored the history of America's fairs, drew visitors back in time to the 1900s fair experience using MSU Museum history collections, and showcased Michigan's fairs today. The FairTime Project also included traveling exhibitions, the development of a documentary "Blue Ribbon Walkways: 150 Years of the Michigan County Fair," and the publication of "Agricultural Fairs in America: Tradition, Education, Celebration," exploring fairs through arts, innovation, education and community development.

"'The FairTime Project' showed the significant role America's agricultural fairs played in developing and our strengthening 'domestic manufacture,' the avenue to national self-reliance," explains Julie Avery, assistant curator of history at the MSU Museum and FairTime Project co-director. "For nearly 200 years agricultural fairs in America have served communities, educating farmers and their families. Today, besides agriculture, fairs are a variety show of education and fun, from consumer education and rides to hands-on experiences for youth."

"The FairTime Project" is a collaboration of the Michigan Association of Fairs & Exhibitions, Michigan Department of Agriculture and the MSU Museum. The American Association for State and Local History, headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., works to advance the knowledge, understanding and appreciation for local history in America. The MSU Museum previously received an AASLH Award of Merit in 1983 for the FOLKPATTERNS "Heritage Gardening" Project and in 1977 for the exhibition, "Michigan Folk Art: Its Beginnings to 1941."

The MSU Museum, Michigan's natural and cultural history museum, is located on West Circle Drive, next to Beaumont Tower on the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing. Hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. Sundays. Admission to the MSU Museum is free (donations are welcome), and the museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. For more details, call (517) 355-2370 or see .

Joining Communities in a Day of Remembrance
September 11th
in association with the American Association of Museums

The Michigan State University Museum will take part in campus-wide events observing the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Museum Studies Program will display collages created to express feelings and opinions about 9/11. The class projects are a way for students to explore museums' roles in cultural memory in communities.

The American Association of Museums encourages communities to celebrate America's freedoms in this day of remembrance. This initiative underscores how museums serve as stewards of the nation's stories and special places where communities can reaffirm and examine our freedom to assemble, freedom to create, freedom to worship, freedom to inquire, freedom to express ideas and freedom from fear.

On exhibit at the MSU Museum will be a newly acquired 9/11 memorial textile, created by a South African Karoo women's group.

Meanwhile, outdoors, the MSU Museum will invite the campus community to create a flock of "peace cranes" in Origami, the Japanese art of decorative folded paper. The birds are an international symbol of peace.

For additional MSU campus community observances, see:

An epoch event for the whole family!
Runners, walkers, and wheelchair athletes of all ages can take to the streets for an epoch good time at the MSU Federal Credit Union Dinosaur Dash, set for Sunday, Oct. 6 at 10 a.m. This flat, fast, certified 5K road race benefiting the Michigan State University Museum is one of the premier races in mid-Michigan, and a full line-up of activities make it fun for the whole family.

The competitive 5K run/walk begins and ends in front of the MSU Museum on West Circle Drive. New this year: the championchip, a small computerized microchip runners fasten onto their shoelaces to ensure more precise individual timing and overall scoring in the competitive race. Dashers compete in several different divisions and dinosaur trophies are awarded to overall male and female winners in both the running and walking categories.

While the 5K attracts runners and walkers of all ages from 8 to 80, two special runs are designed for the younger crowd: the Museum Mile for youths 12 and under to run or walk a one-mile loop around West Circle Drive; and the Mini-Dash, a 200 yard dash for kids 6 and under. All finishers of the Museum Mile receive an official Dinosaur Dash award medal and all finishers of the Mini-Dash will be awarded Dinosaur Dash ribbons.

Race entry fees for the 5K run/walk are $20 on or before Oct. 5 and $25 on race day. Entry fees for the Museum Mile and Mini-Dash are $5 on or before Oct. 5 and $10 on race day. All registration fees include a quality short-sleeved T-shirt, post-race food, beverages, and a donation that supports the MSU Museum's educational programs.

Aside from running and walking, the MSU Museum will host many other activities: a race walk clinic and aerobics warm-up, music, entertainment and children's activities. The MSU Museum also features the area's only full-mounted dinosaur skeletons, a Stegosaurus and Allosaurus, that provide the inspiration for the Dinosaur Dash. The MSU Museum's dramatic T-Rex skull is also now on exhibit with the other dinosaurs in Habitat Hall.

The MSU Museum is located on West Circle Drive, next to Beaumont Tower on the Michigan State University campus. For more details, contact the MSU Museum at (517) 355-2370 or email Entry forms are available at branches of the MSU Federal Credit Union, Playmakers at the Meridian Mall, and at the MSU Museum, or you can save time and register on-line at

Sponsors of this year's MSU Federal Credit Union Dinosaur Dash are 99.1-WFMK, Playmakers, Asics, Great Harvest Bread Company, East Lansing Food Co-op, Panera Bread, Melting Moments, Rowe's Pumpkin Patch, Yoplait and Besco.

New publication this fall by MSU Press
by Linda O. Stanford and C. Kurt Dewhurst

Since its founding in 1855, Michigan State University has emerged from its modest "oak opening" in the wilderness to become a large campus park. This growth reflects the commitment of campus leaders since the nineteenth century to develop MSU as a beautiful and educational public resource, as well as a demonstration model, befitting one of the first land-grant institutions in the United States.

From early landscape gardeners influenced by Ossian Cole Simonds and the nationally known Olmsted Brothers, to the vision of President John Hannah, the consistent intent has been to interrelate architecture and the campus park. The result is a campus whose development reflects major trends in American architecture and whose creators include local, regional, and nationally known architectural firms.

Linda O. Stanford is professor of Art and Art History at Michigan State University. She has served on the State of Michigan Historic Preservation Review Board and the City of East Lansing, Michigan, Historic District Study Committee, and as preservation representative of the Saarinen (Michigan) chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians. Currently, she is Assistant Provost for Academic Services at Michigan State University.

C. Kurt Dewhurst is Director of Michigan State University Museum and the Center for Great Lakes Culture at Michigan State University. He is a professor in the Department of English and he has published extensively and curated exhibits and festivals on folklife and cultural heritage. He serves as a council member of the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Michigan Humanities Council. He is also a board member of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and the Fund for Folk Culture.

MSU Campus: Buildings, Places, Spaces will be available this fall at the MSU Museum Store. Or for more information, see MSU Press at .

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