Looking back, 2015 was a year of transition for the City of Greeley Museums.
Turnover in key staff proved challenging but provided an opportunity to re-energize our museum system with new ideas, experiences and perspectives. This also gave us with the opportunity to reorganize several positions in order that we might better fulfill our mission. Of significant note was the reinstatement of a full-time Administrative Specialist position. This has proven instrumental in our system’s ability to be higher functioning in 2015. We also reorganized the Assistant Curator of Collections and the Museum’s Educational Program Coordinator which both went from part to full time positions.
As we transitioned to new staff in 2015 our Greeley History Museum experienced a significant upswing in both visitation and revenue. This was due in large part to the Build! Frontiers exhibit and is a great testament to the staff that curated this exhibit while short-handed and in an exemplary manner.
For 2016 we will build on the successes of this past year and further refine the way that we objectively measure performance. As part of this building process we will devote significant time to planning for all of our sites, developing a long range plan that will concentrate on the next five years. Public input will play a major role in this evolution.
Our core philosophy for daily operations will continue to revolve around what I refer to as the 4 c’s: creativity, consistency, care and communication.
CREATIVITY—this involves not only innovative exhibit and program concepts but the way we deliver services to the taxpayers and our constituents. It is stepping beyond the “we’ve always done it this way” mentality and striving to challenge ourselves daily in finding better, more meaningful ways, to do what we do as museum professionals. Societal norms are constantly changing. Reaching new audiences with exciting educationally based offerings should always be one of our paramount goals.
CONSISTENCY—we will seek to fulfill our mission day in day out while adhering to the highest ethical and professional standards. Consistency breeds confidence and confidence leads to trust. Gaining and maintaining the public’s trust is essential to our success as an institution and as museum employees.
CARE—thousands upon thousands of precious, and in many cases one-of-a-kind, artifacts, images, and documents have been entrusted to our care. We literally hold the collective memory of Greeley and Weld County. This is a sacred compact between the museum, our donors, city residents and the visiting public. We will continue to provide the highest level of care to our collections, historic structures and our guests. There will be renewed emphasis on professional training so that we can keep current with the latest best practices.
COMMUNICATION—when I surveyed the staff several months ago—improved communication was by far the leading response. Consequently, we (and especially me personally) will work to improve the flow of information, up, down, and across our museum system. Other than winning the lottery, very few people appreciate surprises. In 2016, we’ll challenge ourselves to keep other internal teams in the loop when joint projects are being planned and not just when it’s “go time.”
Thank you for supporting City of Greeley Museums in 2015. We look forward to seeing you again this year!
Written by Dan Perry, Museums Manager, City of Greeley Museums