The Museums of Western Colorado (MWC) is launching an I Love My Museum campaign. This campaign is designed to educate the community and to inspire museum visitors and members to share their love of our institution with other community members and decision makers. Be on the look out for banners, signs, rallies, and other fun ways for you to share your love of MWC. In addition, we will be collecting “statements of love” from the community like this thoughtful testimonial from Board member Jerry Hamilton.
“My grandparents raised their family in the Grand Valley. My parents grew up here. My brother and I were born here, moved away and moved back. Our children were raised here and we have aunts, uncles, and numerous cousins all still living here. We’re all obviously drawn and committed to life here in the Grand Valley. We need an institution like the Museums of Western Colorado to memorialize the times, events and experiences of our day, mom and dad’s day, our grandparent’s day, our children’s day, and their children’s day!”
As Jerry’s words illustrate, the Museums of Western Colorado preserve and protect our collective memory and our history. Our museum matters greatly because it uniquely serves generations past, present and generations yet to be born. Museums like ours play a vital role in the lives of individuals, families and in our communities. In addition, Museums make a measurable positive impact on education, the economy and our society.
Museums spend more than $2 billion a year on education activities; the typical museum devotes three-quarters of its education budget to K-12 students. (American Alliance of Museums ‘Museum Financial Information Survey’ 2009)
Museums help teach the state, local, or core curriculum, tailoring their programs in math, science, art, literacy, language arts, history, civics and government, economics and financial literacy, geography and social studies.
Museums receive approximately 55 million visits each year from students in school groups. (Ibid)
Museums employ more than 400,000 Americans and directly contribute $21 billion to the U.S. economy each year and billions more through indirect spending by their visitors. (AAM Financial Information Survey and Institute of Museums and Library Services study)
Seventy-eight percent of all U.S. leisure travelers participate in cultural or heritage activities such as visiting museums. These travelers spend 63 percent more on average than other leisure travelers. (U.S. Travel Association)
Governments that support the arts find that for every $1 invested in museums and other cultural organizations, $7 is returned in tax revenues. (Americans for the Arts ‘Arts and Economic Prosperity IV’ 2012)
MWC serves 60,000 to 70,000 visitors each year, including an estimated 49% from out of town in 2015 (60% during the summer season).
MWC served 5050 school children in 2015 through school visits to our museums.
Visitors to MWC contribute $16.2 million to the local economy annually in direct spending and $1.2 million in sales taxes annually. (CMU Department of Business, 2015)
MWC itself spends $ 1.5 million annually each year on goods and services, over 90% of which is spent here in our community.
MWC directly employs 22 people in our community, besides offering numerous volunteer and public service opportunities.
As most of us know, limited budgets are forcing local government officials to make tough funding decisions. If you value our uniquely rich heritage and the role that the Museums of Western Colorado plays in protecting, discovering, preserving, and sharing that heritage, we ask that you contact your county commissioners, thank them for their continued support of the Museums of Western Colorado and tell them why you love MWC!
Share your love of the Museums of Western Colorado and help us to protect the Grand Valleys’ heritage for generations to come!