How has the museum pivoted as a result of the pandemic?
The United States Marshals Museum continues to fund raise during the pandemic with verve and gusto!
Earlier this year, a gracious donor, understanding the impact, discourse and experience that the Marshals Museum has and will have once open, gave the Museum a $500,000 matching donation. Because of the generosity of other donors, the match has been met! In the middle of a pandemic, the Marshals Museum was able to make $1,000,000!
We have also seen significant interaction on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, with so many people working remotely from home during COVID. The team has created Facebook Live events, engaging social posts and creative content to update our followers on the energy and excitement happening at the museum.
Our education department has pivoted to aiding teachers by creating online curriculum such as National History Day, our Educator Resource Series, Constitution Week and day camps for students. Director of education Leslie Higgins does this by using platforms like Facebook and YouTube.
How is the Marshals Museum preparing to open its doors?
We have exceptional leadership on both our Museum and Foundation boards. Because of their guidance, strategies have been crafted that include hiring a national fundraising firm, creating unique ways and opportunities for donors to give, and hosting local and national events. It is exciting for the museum that it is inches away from finishing off the capital campaign and securing monies to push “go” on the experience production!
The Museum has only $12.8 million left to go in its capital campaign, with its sights laser-focused securing $8 million of that amount to start production on the experience.
Pave America’s Star, our brick paver program, is still in full swing and custom engraved bricks would make wonderful Christmas gifts. You can find forms to purchase a brick at usmmuseum.org.
The museum will also have an end-of-year giving push.
What other effects has the pandemic had on the museum?
People have been renting the facility for engagements, which has helped with revenue. The museum is stunning, inside and out. Many have rented the space for weddings, meetings, walking tours and panel discussions. The Fort Smith Symphony had their season opener concert at the museum, outside on the campus facing the Arkansas River.
On any given day, you will see the campus buzzing with people. This gives us the opportunity to continue having a national footprint as we welcome people to come and stroll the grounds.
What are your next events?
The Marshals Museum will host our holiday event, An Evening in the Past, Dec. 7. Previously, historical interpreters such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Young Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln have entertained. This year, Harriet Tubman will visit with us. We are hosting guests in-house with limited seating and offering virtual attendance for the first time. Buy tickets or make virtual reservations by calling the museum, 479-242-1789 or finding the link at usmmuseum.org or its Facebook page.