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Grant provides museum with strategic planning resources

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – As part of a professional development training grant awarded last year, Kauffman Museum Director Rachel Pannabecker recently attended a workshop on strategic planning held June 23-24 in Kansas City, Mo.

The museum was one of seven organizations in Kansas to be included in the Hands-on Experiential Learning (HELP) Advance project, a training program developed to address the specific needs of small and mid-size museum staff, volunteers and trustees. The 23-month project will center on strategic planning, resource management and community engagement, culminating with a capstone project in each participating organization’s community.

The Mid-America Art Alliance is overseeing the program, funded by a 21st Century Museum Professionals grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. The HELP Advance Project is serving 45 museums and arts and cultural organizations in the six-state region of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

“We are so pleased to offer this important development opportunity to cultural institutions in our region,” said Dana Knapp, director of programs at Mid-America Arts Alliance. “The far-reaching benefit to these communities and their surrounding areas will be felt through dynamic, relevant programming and a new sense of long-term sustainability for the organizations themselves.”

“We are excited that Kauffman Museum was selected into this elite regional group,” said Pannabecker, “because HELP Advanced provides valuable professional development experiences for me and by extension to Kauffman Museum and the arts and culture organizations with which we interact.”

She noted that as part of the project, Kauffman Museum has been paired with the Larsen Tractor Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which Pannabecker called “a great fit for us. We are pleased to be linked with another university museum for stimulating our development planning.”

Other Kansas organizations included in the HELP Advance Project are the Arkansas City Area Arts Council, the Baker Arts Center in Liberal, the Emporia Arts Council, the Garden City Arts Council, the Goodland Arts Council and the Manhattan Arts Center.

Kauffman Museum, located on the Bethel College campus at 27th and North Main Streets in North Newton, is open 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tues.-Fri., and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It is closed Mondays and major holidays.

Admission to the museum, which also includes admission to the permanent exhibits “Of Land and People,” “Mirror of the Martyrs” and “Mennonite Immigrant Furniture,” is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-16, and free to Kauffman Museum members and children under 6. For more information about Kauffman Museum, call 316-283-1612 or see www.bethelks.edu/kauffman/.

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