Op-Ed

Whatcom Museum links history, culture

Whatcom Museum was established in 1941 and had about 200 volunteers in 2015.

Purpose: The Whatcom Museum is committed to serving as both a community magnet and a regional destination for cultural experiences rooted in art, nature, and northwest history. Here, as part of our vision to connect people to new ideas, old traditions, and each other, visitors take part in a vast range of programs and exhibitions designed to get us all thinking about our changing cultural, natural, and historical landscapes. The goal? Build strong art muscles. Understand our shared heritage. Stretch minds, inspire preservation and stoke creativity in the name of sustaining Bellingham at its best.

Volunteer highlights: More than 200 volunteers assist us annually with tasks working with our diverse visitor base, and behind the scenes. Activities range from cataloging and archiving, events, promotion, preparation of exhibits, tours and educational activities in the gallery spaces, one time and special projects, and more. Two of our more hard-working volunteer groups are the Museum Advocates, an advocacy group that helps to raise money to underwrite museum operation costs, while also contributing countless volunteer hours to support museum staff, and Museum Docents, trained volunteers who provide weekly tours of our exhibitions to teach visitors about art, history, and culture.

Signature fundraiser: Annual Art Gala & Auction: Art of the Senses at the Lightcatcher Building, 250 Flora Street. Usually in January, 2017 not yet scheduled.

Wish list: The Whatcom Museum is always looking for sponsorship and monetary donations to help underwrite our exhibitions and programming. We are currently looking for individual, as well as corporate, sponsors for our National Geographic 50 Greatest Photos exhibition, opening Oct. 1, 2016 in the Lightcatcher.

Current volunteer needs: Various departments regularly work with volunteers, from our collections, to photo archives, to the Family Interactive Gallery. For information to get involved visit whatcommuseum.org/support/volunteer.

For more information, go online to whatcommuseum.org.

VOLUNTEER MONTH

April was National Volunteer Month and The Bellingham Herald has partnered with the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County to highlight local non-profit agencies that offer opportunities to become involved in our community. For more information online about the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County, go to whatcomvolunteer.org.

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