The appendix to this post is a paragraph from the Arizona Centennial Commissions resource guide. It describes the recommended process for getting community support for centennial projects.
When Jan Brewer became Governor, she also became co chairman of the Arizona Centennial Commission. Rather than supporting existing projects, she dreamed up her own pet project at a very late date in centennial planning. Did she follow the suggested procedure for getting community “buy in”.
As described in prior postings, she apparently coerced the Arizona Historical Society into supporting her project, the Arizona Centennial Museum. Then, she chose a building for it that was already occupied by one of Arizona’s top rated museums; the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum.
Then, she planned her project in secret. She not only failed to establish community support, she divided the community. Now, one faction wants to build the Arizona Centennial Museum (another history museum) and another wants to save the mineral museum, the only earth science museum that supports state mandated K-12 education standards. The fighting will be prolonged and bitter.
Governor Brewer committed a major blunder and displayed a complete lack of leadership ability. She should not be a part of Arizona centennial planning.
From the Arizona Centennial 2010 Resource Guide www.arizona100.org
GETTING COMMUNITY “BUY-IN" | Once you have an idea for a project, especially if it is a special community-wide event, get input from a variety of participants early on. Projects are more likely to succeed if they achieve community buy-in.
Begin this process by communicating with people within your network and asking them for their assessment of how well the project will be received and how to act on it. Also ask for suggestions for people to invite to an initial "brainstorming" meeting.
Once you have a core group of supporters, start asking community organizations for feedback. Be sure to include local historians, genealogists, educators, librarians, and museum staff. Others to include are elected officials, community and tribal leaders, as well as representatives of special interest groups such as senior citizens, VFW halls, and ethnic groups.
If you need help identifying resources, the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, the Arizona Historical Society, and the Arizona Humanities Council may be able to help.
An effective way of seeking public input is a town hall-style meeting where the general public is invited. This will provide a larger number of people the opportunity to offer and discuss ideas or to begin working out the details. If different or opposing ideas