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Packing up

Published on Saturday, September 17, 2011 By Melissa Prycer
I just love a new addition to our collection of antiques—and this one is a doozie! We have lots of trunks: wooden trunks, leather trunks, big ones and little ones and one for a doll. Now, we have a wardrobe trunk in wonderful condition. A wardrobe trunk is a much cleverer version of a regular travel trunk. If we still used trunks today, this is the one the Container Store would carry. It is sort of like a chest of drawers and a closet that folds up into a box. (/images/postimages/trunk.jpg) The wardrobe trunk didn’t appear until after 1890 and really came into its own after 1900. This one is late enough to be pushing our museum’s time period. I think it was made after 1910. They are actually more Edwardian than Victorian, and you can imagine  ..

village-academy-2-0

Published on Thursday, September 08, 2011 By Melissa Prycer
This fall, Village Academy classes are back! In my head, I’ve been calling it Village Academy 2.0, because we’re doing it just a wee bit differently. How so? We launched Village Academy classes back in 2005. The idea was to create a series of hands-on classes on historical topics that may or may not occur in our classroom space. When you only have one real classroom space (the second floor of the school), you have to get creative! For the very first series, we had classes for adults, teens and younger kids. However, only the kid classes seemed to work, so in later years, we focused just on the kids. A variety of staff members taught these classes—from Mrs. Kennedy at the farmstead to Mr. Clementine with the donkeys, but the education department did the  ..

Re-Accreditation Redux

Published on Thursday, September 01, 2011 By Melissa Prycer
Dallas Heritage Village Has Recently Been Re-accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM) So what? Well, of the estimated 17,500 museums in this country, only 779, or about 4.5%, are accredited. In Texas just 39 are accredited, and in Dallas, only the Dallas Museum of Art, the Museum of Nature and Science, and the Sixth Floor Museum join Dallas Heritage Village with this designation. We are in pretty good company here! What is the significance of AAM accreditation? As the AAM likes to say, accreditation is the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.” It is an objective outside evaluation by other museum professionals who measure the museum against best standards and practices of the field. The accreditation seal of a ..

It’s Time

Published on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 By Melissa Prycer
My first long-term museum job (meaning that I wasn’t just there for the summer) was at a historic farm in North Carolina. Historic Oak View County Park was fully funded by Wake County, which meant everything we did was free to visitors—admission, school tours, special events. Occasionally, we even got magical phone calls at the end of the fiscal year: “You have to spend X dollars in the next two weeks.” It was all very, very nice. When I started working at Dallas Heritage Village, it took me a little while to adjust to a very different funding structure. As Gary has discussed previously (/blog/To-our-Trustees-Members-Neighbors-Friends-and-Constituents-Why-We-Need-Your-Support), our budget is made up of all kinds of revenue streams, including a ..

To our Trustees, Members, Neighbors, Friends, and Constituents : Why We Need Your Support

Published on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 By Melissa Prycer
To our Trustees, Members, Neighbors, Friends, and Constituents : Why We Need Your Support Previously I discussed the impact of state government cuts on museums around the country, including Texas. Since I wrote that essay, I have attended the Texas Association of Museums annual meeting, where I visited with colleagues and picked up more stores of what is happening in other states. The news is not good. Clearly, we are in an era where government support for history, culture, and the arts is on a long-term decline. Government funding is important, because it is generally allocated for operations support such as utilities, salaries, maintenance—the kind of things that other funders are reluctant to support. If government support is on a long-term decline,  ..

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