For $1.5 million, Besser Museum in Alpena will update and expand one of its exhibits to 3,000 square feet.
The room hasn’t been changed in 51 years. The upcoming “Discover Northeast Michigan History Exhibit” will show the history behind what shaped our area of the state. “Starting from our location at the 45th parallel, at the dark sky parks, up to the Great Lakes, and the Thunder Bay River,” said Christine Witulski, executive director of the Besser Museum. “The Native American exhibit will still have a large footprint.”
Working with organizations like Michigan Arts and Culture Council, Besser Foundation, Alpena County Youth and Rec, and Alpena County Older Persons Committee, the museum raised the necessary funds to get the ball rolling on the project. “We have some private donors,” said Witulski. “So with our private donations, that comes at $363,000. So we’re at $918,000 of our $1.5 million.”
The exhibit will be meant for all ages. For the kids, they’ll have the opportunity to get up close and personal with what it has to offer. “From the floor to 36 inches, these children will be able to touch things, lift things, push buttons, all of those things children use to engage learning,” Witulski said.
Besser museum wants the public to get involved as well. They ask anyone interested in offering suggestions to contact them with their ideas. “If you have any information that might be necessary to represent Besser Museum, or represent Alpena communities, or northeast Michigan history, please contact us,” Witulski said.
The museum will start dismantling the current exhibit in January and will stay closed for two years.