Sunday, July 29, 2012

What attracts museum visitors?

The private, volunteer operated Pioneer Living History Museum (AKA Pioneer Village) opened in 1969. Unlike big budget, state operated history museums like the Marley Center Museum in Tempe, it was a popular history museum, attracting about 50,000 visitors per year.

Pioneer Village was taken over by the City of Phoenix in 2010.  At the time, Phoenix pledged to provide free passes for 1,200 low income children per year. That has not happened. The city says it is because they do not have funds to provide transportation.

Why is it necessary to provide free transportation to attract visitors to use free passes?

The Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum (also volunteer operated) provided free services to about 50,000 students per year. It did not have funds to provide transportation either. About half the students were brought to the museum by parents or other family members. The other half were brought by teachers on formal school field trips. The transportation was provided by school buses operated by various school districts.

If a museum fills a need, people will come.  The mineral museum provided free educational services that supported state mandated K-12 earth science education standards.  Parents and teachers recognized that, and were more than willing to provide transportation.

Pioneer Living History Museum passes for low-income kids go unused
City can't afford transportation to Pioneer Village
by Betty Reid - Jul. 26, 2012 03:40 PM
The Republic |

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