Monday, March 14, 2011

Please do not contribute to the Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation

STOP the misguided Arizona Centennial Museum AKA Arizona Experience Museum project

The Arizona Centennial Foundation is an Arizona corporation established by mostly government and quasi government people. Quasi government people include retired government workers, lobbyists, etc.). The Foundation operates out of the Arizona Office of Tourism, and that office’s address is listed as the Foundations address with the corporation commission. The Foundation is being used to avoid state procurement procedures and thereby permit sole source procurements.

The Foundation has been attempting to raise funds for projects intended to celebrate Arizona’s centennial. Their “signature” project is the 5C Arizona Centennial Museum. Because the initial fund raising effort failed, that project is at least a year behind schedule and can never be open for Arizona’s centennial. Therefore, the Foundation has renamed it the Arizonan Experience Museum.

The major problem with the centennial (experience) museum is that it completely displaces the top rated Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum and its K-12 earth science education programs. The “theme” of the centennial (experience) museum is the 5Cs of Arizona. That simplistic mnemonic device has been used for decades by Arizona history teachers to remind students that cattle, cotton, copper, citrus, and climate once contributed to Arizona’s economy. Today, however, cattle, cotton, and citrus combined make up less that ¼ % of Arizona’s economy. The educational value of a 5C museum is minimal.

Stung by criticism of the irrelevance of 5Cs when the museum was first announced a year ago, the Foundation has fluffed it up to include “technology, bioscience, mining, green industries, renewable energy, aerospace, sports and recreation, agribusiness and other emerging opportunities and growing industries” (yes, mining and agribusiness are redundant to the 5Cs, but those are the Foundation’s words). Given the size of the building, all these new promises make no sense. Since the 5Cs will reportedly occupy the entire first floor and everything else will be in the mezzanine, they are especially ridiculous.

The Foundation is correct in stating that “For decades, the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum has been integral to connecting school children, residents, and visitors to Arizona diverse and dynamic mining industry and beautiful mineral treasures”. However, they show their ignorance of the mineral museum’s educational programs when they go on to say “Moving forward, the new museum will incorporate many of those minerals in an interactive, state of the art display, respecting the importance of this exhibit.”

Allowing their non-technical, sole source, out of state contractor to redesign the mineral exhibits will destroy their educational value. The contractor’s design questionnaire only addressed the social and economic aspects of mining, clearly demonstrating complete ignorance of the existing technical and scientific context and interpretation of the existing displays.

The Foundation’s non-technical contractor will destroy the mineral museums educational programs. School busses will no longer arrive daily if the mineral museum is converted into the “experience” museum. If the Foundation is allowed to continue, the museum will indeed be “transformed” as the foundation says, but not in a positive way. Management by the non-technical Arizona Historical Society will make the situation even worse.

Please do not contribute to the Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation. Funds they may acquire will be used to destroy the top rated Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum and its K-12 earth science education programs. Arizona’s future (and taxpayers) will suffer.


Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation Advances with Plans for the Arizona Experience Museum
Construction Partners, architect, and museum designer announced, 03.11.2011 – Phoenix-


  1. With this economy I cant see very many people sending these guys very much money. Probably a couple of companies who want to impress the governor for some neferious reasons.

  2. And the AZ Legislature. They are providing funding through the Arizona Historical Society budget.

  3. The AHS track record is dismal. Boring exhibits, low attendance, no fund raising on the part of the board or director, director invisable in the community,cant even fire an employee who is incompetant and a thief,1.4 million for a non-existant Rio Nuvo Museum, out of state exhibits contractors. What a list!!