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  • 30 Oct 2019 7:08 PM | Anonymous


    October 15, 2019

    Willard Whitson

    Reconsidering Children’s Museums

    At KidSenses Children’s Interactive Museum we are often asked why adults have to pay the same admission fee we charge for their children. And occasionally, parents ask if they can leave their children with us while they go somewhere else.

    Responding to these questions can be frustrating for several reasons, particularly since some adults can be quite belligerent regarding having to pay for their own admission. In addition, having to deal with a mildly hostile attitude, our staff has the burden of trying to help these parents understand how the interaction with their children in this stimulating, interactive environment not only benefits their children, but also, they themselves.

    Many parents have the misapprehension that children’s museums are merely indoor playgrounds. It is indeed true that children play in our museums. But what is often not understood is that it’s play with a purpose. Play is the work of childhood; children learn through play. For the very youngest, learning to navigate their way in these highly stimulating and carefully thought out environments fosters early brain development, and skills acquisition and mastery. Older children roll play and discover their own interests and preferences, and begin to acquire knowledge, increasingly about STEM topics.

    This intellectual and emotional development is enhanced by parental interaction. Observing and playing with your children is empowering and validating for the child and enriching for the parent. I often describe our parent profile as being one of three categories. The “babysitters” – parents who are present in the museum but are primarily using their cell phones or talking with other adults. The “documentarians” – parents observing their children playing, recording the action on their phone cameras and posting frequently. The “gold standard” – parents actually playing and interacting with their kids. There is no rule that says you have to play with your kids, but our goal is to nurture this kind of interactivity.

    As a result of years of observing parental behavior in children’s museums, I’ve begun to think we need to do some serious re-branding. At KidSenses we are currently constructing a new addition entitled The FACTORY – A Place to Meet and Make. This facility will engage older youth, age 11 into their teens. We’ve started talking about “whole family engagement.” I think that’s the key, to be forthcoming about the desire and need to embrace all members of the family. Increased opportunities for intergenerational mentoring, volunteerism and more are being evaluated as we develop our future plans. I definitely think it might be time for us to reconsider how our institutions are perceived by both visitors and peers.

  • 30 Oct 2019 7:04 PM | Anonymous

    Here's the latest on #NCMC2020!



    651 N Winstead Ave

    Rocky Mount, NC 27804

    (We will have bussing available to most sites)

    Saturday Programs: 

    - Road Trip tours of the following in Farmville: GlasStation, First in Flight Vodka, and DuckRabbit 

    - Beer Tour and Tastings at the Rocky Mount Mills followed by on-your-own dinner on campus. 

    - Wine tasting Saturday evening at Bin & Barrel

    Sunday Programs:

    - History Tour of Stonewall Manor & Rocky Mount Mills 

    - Off-site tour: Country Doctor Museum & Dan Finch Clay Studio

    - Architecture and history bus tour of Downtown Rocky Mount

    - Tour of Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences (activity structure to come)

    - All-day Game Day at the Event Center

    Reception, Awards Ceremony, and Networking event will all be held at the Rocky Mount Mills's Powerhouse, too. 

    Monday breakfast, lunch, exhibitor hall, and all sessions will be held at the Rocky Mount Event Center. 

  • 1 Oct 2019 12:15 PM | Anonymous

    It is that time of year when North Carolina will have to brace itself for yet another dreaded Hurricane Season. Although the Atlantic Hurricane season officially began in June, the worst months for strong storms and flooding in North Carolina is between the end of August and beginning of November. After the past few years of multiple major hurricanes, we hope you are all ready with an updated Disaster Plan for your home and museum.

    NCMC has pulled together the attached list of North Carolina resources to help you prepare and recover from these major storms and their lingering effects. We will try to keep this list as up to date as possible during this hurricane season. If there are any more resources we should add, please email them to Christian Edwards at

    If you are in the projected area of impact for any of our current or projected storms, please take measures to be safe, and take reasonable steps to protect your art, artifacts, buildings, and exhibits. Best of luck!

    Click Here to view Hurricane Tracker

    Click Here for PDF with links to Emergency Information and Preparation Resources and Emergency Response Organizations Helping North Carolina Arts and Cultural Organizations and Sites.

  • 10 Jul 2019 8:41 PM | Anonymous

    The Development Chair for the North Carolina Museums Council oversees fundraising activities, solicits sponsorships, cultivates and maintains sponsor and vendor relationships, and identifies grant opportunities in support of the NCMC mission. The main focus of this position is to act as the primary facilitator for any fundraising initiatives undertaken on behalf of NCMC. This position works collaboratively with the Treasurer, Membership Chair, Professional Development Chair, Annual Meetings Chair, and Nominating Chair, and other board members as necessary. This position is ideal for an emerging professional with some fundraising experience but is not limited to those already working in development. The position will be guided by museum professionals working in development who have agreed to serve in an advisory capacity. This position offers emerging professionals interested in development work an opportunity to build new skills and benefit NCMC's mission through increased revenue. Requirements for this position include attendance at the NCMC board’s quarterly meetings, and the submission of a quarterly Development report.

    To apply for this position, please send a statement of interest and a resume or CV to Jeremiah DeGennaro, Nominating Chair.

  • 6 May 2019 9:08 AM | Anonymous

    The North Carolina Preservation Consortium (NCPC) and the North Carolina Museum Council (NCMC) have joined forces to assist collecting institutions affected by Hurricanes Matthew, Florence, and Michael by creating the Hurricane Relief Support Grant program. This is a two-year program.

    Purpose and Scope of Grant

    To provide funds for collection supplies for institutions affected by Hurricane Matthew (September-October 2016), Hurricane Florence (September 2018) and Tropical Storm Michael (October 2018). Institutions within the North Carolina counties declared disaster areas that need collection preservation assistance are eligible to apply for this grant. Those counties can be found here:


    Applicants must be institutional members of NCPC or NCMC, and must be within the declared North Carolina disaster areas as defined by FEMA (see links above). Grants are not awarded to individuals.

    Matthew Counties:

    Anson, Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chatham, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Gates, Greene, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Martin, Moore, Nash, Northampton, Onslow, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Tyrrell, Wake, Washington, Wayne, Wilson

    Florence Counties:

    Anson, Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Chatham, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Durham, Greene, Guilford, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Orange, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Union, Wayne, Wilson

    Michael Counties:

    Alamance, Brunswick, Caswell, Chatham, Dare, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Granville, Hyde, Iredell, McDowell, Montgomery, Orange, Person, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Vance, Yadkin

    More Information

    Maximum award is $1,000. Deadline for applications is January 15, 2020. For complete information on eligibility, restrictions, and application instructions, please see our Hurricane Relief Support Grant Program page .

  • 28 Mar 2019 10:01 AM | Anonymous

    2018 Award of Excellence
    The Gaston County Museum of Art & History
    “1872: Full STEAM Ahead”

    An exciting project that tied technology, innovation, history, and critical thinking skills together in programs for 4th grade students. A grant-funded portion of the project covered field trip expenses for visits to the museum. The project focused on a court case from 1872 that helped broach topics of textile mills, mill workers’ lives, and the economy of the textile industry at the local mill-owned store.

    2018 Award of Excellence
    The Museum of the Southeast American Indian
    “Return from Exile” Exhibition and Programming

    An innovative approach to using a traveling exhibit as a foundation for programming and outreach within a community and to interweave the museum’s other exhibits into the greater narrative of the traveling exhibit. The museum worked with 8th grade students and combined art and history in an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the impact of Indian Removal - students explored the concepts of removal, resilience, and return to homelands in the two day program.

    2018 Award of Excellence
    The North Carolina Collection Gallery
    “Sir Walter Uncloaked: The Man, the Myths, the Legacy”

    This exhibit was a playful approach to the 400th anniversary of Sir Walter’s life (and death) and was tied to a larger program on campus. The use of the tabloid magazine format was timely, allowed the curatorial staff to explore the myths and realities of Raleigh’s life, loves, and contributions in a dense wordy format but yet easy to read and follow with well chosen images.

    2018 Award of Special Recognition
    Emma Lee Locklear for her dedication to the Museum of the Southeast American Indian

    Ms. Emma Locklear has become a beloved supporter of the Museum and has recently donated a unique and interesting quilt to the collections. This quilt was a family heirloom and is a “pinecone patchwork design” worked by Maggie Lowry, the daughter of famed American Indian folk hero Henry Berry Lowry. The museum called Ms. Emma “a visionary and true steward of Lumbee history” in their application and it surely seems fitting!

    2018 Award of Special Recognition
    Steve Compton for his dedicated support of the North Carolina Pottery Center

    After reading the nomination, it’s clear that Steve has become a fixture at the Pottery Center and that his work has proved invaluable to the staff and visitors. His love of North Carolina Pottery shows through his work as a researcher and author, working in the collections to catalog and document pieces for both exhibits and the museum’s online portal and by serving on the center’s Board of Directors for many years. The museum’s application described Steve’s work and I’m tired just from reading all he’s done!

    2018 Professional Service Award
    Pam Meisterfor her tireless work on behalf of the Mountain Heritage Center and North Carolina Museums

    Pam has served the Mountain Heritage Center for nine years, after a long career working with museums in Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana, and North Carolina. Pam has been a mentor for others in the museum field throughout her career, most notably through the formation of the Southeastern Museums Council’s Jekyll Island Institute, providing workshops on skills vital to museum work that get missed in traditional programs, and sharing her knowledge through various portals at conferences, meetings, and online. After a long description of all the great things that Pam has accomplished and given back to the museum world, the application ended with a great synopsis: “Her leadership and inclusion of staff, students, and community members [in museum work] is simply top notch.”

    2018 Dennis T. Lawson Memorial Award
    Dr. H.G. Jones for his dedication to the preservation of North Carolina history

    A quiet man who didn’t toot his horn too very much, Dr. Jones accomplished much in his long career. Beginning as our State Archivist in 1956, just after his service in WWII, Dr. Jones embarked on a lifetime of service to our state’s history. Some of his work still enables us to quickly and easily research things today – he spearheaded the effort to microfilm our state’s newspapers (which then lead to their easy digitization because we are using those negatives still!). His investigative report on the National Archives was cited during the Nixon Tapes trial and helped that institution become more independent, provide even more transparency on government, leading to a greater “check and balance of history.” Dr. Jones helped plan our state’s Civil War Centennial, the Roanoke Island 400th, and the Revolutionary Bicentennial. He helped persuade the Governor and the legislature that we needed to build a new Archives and History Building – on Jones Street! He later became the Director of the Office of Archives and History and oversaw the growth of our historic sites, from the restoration of the Capitol to the addition of Reed Gold Mine, the Wolfe Memorial, and Duke Homestead to the department. Dr. Jones left Archives and History to become the Curator of the North Carolina Collection on campus at UNC, again serving the history of our state in a voracious way, publishing books, articles, and preserving our documents, photographs, and cultural landscape for years.

    2018 William T. Alderson Lifetime Achievement Award
    Donald B. Taylor for his tireless work to preserve and interpret Bentonville Battlefield

    Donny has been a fixture within State Historic Sites for a long time, working at a handful of other sites before landing at Bentonville Battlefield as their manager. Under Donny’s tenure at the Battlefield, the Site grew through the acquisition and preservation of 2,000 acres of battlefield areas! Additionally, Donny oversaw improvements to the interpretation of the battlefield and its trail system and the resulting increase in annual visitation. He also kept his cool during the largest event the Department ever managed, the 150th anniversary of the battle on track despite LOTS of mud and over 65,000 visitors in two days!

  • 27 Feb 2019 10:01 AM | Anonymous

    Dear NCMC Member,

    The NCMC Board proposes the following By-Laws changes. These changes will be voted on by the membership at the Business Meeting that will take place during the Annual Meeting Monday luncheon, on March 25, 2019 in Asheville. These changes are to eliminate the Newsletter Chair and the Public Relations Chair and instead to create a Communications Chair. The current By-Laws can be found HERE.


    Proposed By-Law changes:

    Article V Board of Directors

    Section 3 Number and Qualifications: The Board of Directors shall consist of the four elected officers, the Immediate Past President and not more than 15 other elected members. These elected members will include: Art Section Chair, Children's Section Chair, History Section Chair, Science Section Chair, and the following Committee Chairs: Annual Meetings, Archives, Awards, Communications, Development, Directory, Membership Development, Nominating, Professional Development, and Student Affairs. Said members listed above all have voting privileges at board meetings.

    Section 4 Election, Term and Responsibilities: Directors shall be elected at each annual meeting by the voting members present at that meeting. The Archives Chair, Professional Development Chair, and Communications Chair shall be elected in even-numbered years. The Annual Meetings Chair, Awards Chair, Development Chair, Directory Chair, Membership Development Chair, Nominating Chair, and Student Affairs Chair shall be elected in odd-numbered years. The Section Chairs shall be elected by the voting members present at their respective section’s Annual Meeting in odd-numbered years. Both the Section Chairs and the Committee Chairs shall be elected for a two-year term and are eligible to serve for two consecutive terms. Each of the Directors is responsible for fulfilling responsibilities relating to their respective position as outlined in the Operating Guidelines.

    Article VI Committees

    Section 2 Standing Committees: The Standing Committees of the Board shall be: Annual Meetings, Archives, Awards, Communications, Development, Directory, Membership Development, Nominating, Professional Development, and Student Affairs. The Chair of each standing committee may appoint a vice-chair from the NCMC membership to assist with committee functions and represent the chair in the event of his or her absence at Board Meetings. While a vice-chair may represent a chair in the event of his or her absence at board meetings, a vice-chair does not count towards quorum and may not vote or cast proxy votes since they were not elected by the NCMC membership.


    Looking forward to seeing you in Asheville!

    Peter Koch
    NCMC Board President

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