RUGBY The State Historical Society of North Dakota has awarded a $10,000 grant to the Geographical Center Historical Society, which operates the Prairie Village Museum in Rugby. This is one of three North Dakota Museum Assessment Program grants made available by the State Historical Society.
Program grants provide city, county or regional historical societies, museums and history organizations with the opportunity to do in-depth reviews of their organizations, develop long-range plans, and complete projects.
"This is just the right grant for this museum at just the right time," said museum executive director Cathy Jelsing. "It builds upon the museum's efforts in the past nine months to increase attendance, re-engage the community, seek new funding sources, and use computer technology to catalog our collections."
The Geographical Center Historical Society is required to use approximately half of the program grant funds to hire a peer reviewer, who will help the historical society board evaluate the organization and create a long-range plan for Prairie Village Museum. The other half of the grant will be used to fund a project at the museum.
In its grant application, the historical society board proposed creation of a space in the museum for display of rotating exhibits. Currently, the museum has no place to install new or changing exhibits or to display traveling exhibits. "When we complete the museum's long-range plan, we'll know if this is or some other project is our top priority," Jelsing said.
The first phase of the North Dakota Museum Assessment Program is to complete a self-assessment workbook. Historical society board members will answer detailed questions about every aspect of the organization and the museum. The report developed through this process will be submitted to the State Historical Society in early February and the next step will be to bring a peer reviewer to the museum. The grant period ends May 31, 2013.