New and Noteworthy at TCHM
Interview with Intern Maddalena Frissora
Elisa Hopper, Development Director, sits with Maddalena Frissora, one of two summer interns in 2023, to hear about her project: a digital exhibition on art in the TCHM collection. We learn a little about where she’s come from, and where she’s heading as a new museum professional. We also find out each other’s favorite dinosaurs! Listen now to the full interview on YouTube.
Maddalena notes that “the internet’s forever”, so it gives us, as curators, the chance to “make an exhibit available for longer, and accessible to those who may not be able to come into the Museum.”
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Interview with Intern
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Sabrina White, our second of this summer’s two interns, shares her project plan with Elisa Hopper, Development Director. Sabrina is interning with TCHM’s collections department, and shares her interest in diaries, news and journals from the past. Her excitement about history and museum work comes through. See the full interview on YouTube.
Visit the Community Archive and Research Center (CARC) at 14100 172nd Ave to access the artifacts that Sabrina cataloged as part of her project. Schedule research time with our curators or a tour of the CARC and collections warehouse to explore other artifacts related to Tri-Cities history. Book online or contact Jared Yax at (616) 842-0700 x 200.
Tri-Cities Historical Museum (TCHM) is the recipient of a federal grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS), allowing TCHM to purchase and assemble materials for two emergency kits and provide both classroom and hands-on training for our staff.
The impetus to apply for IMLS funding came as a result of the May 2020 catastrophic flooding in Midland, Michigan. Large storms had caused the Tittabawassee River to swell and overwhelm two dams. Two museums, the Midland County Historical Society’s Heritage Park and the Sanford Museum, were both under several feet of water, putting their collections at risk of being destroyed.
When the Michigan Museums Association (MMA) put out the call for help, the Tri-Cities Historical Museum sent its HEART-certified emergency responder Jared Yax along with three other curatorial staff to support the Midland team. More than 400 community volunteers and approximately 100 museum professionals from across the state participated in the rescue operation. Though the Midland sites had no formal disaster response plan, under the leadership of Yax, volunteers, professionals and public agencies were able to work together to rescue a vast majority of the affected collections.
Being involved in the recovery of the Midland museum’s artifacts motivated TCHM’s curatorial and development staff to submit the application for funding support. Our mission is to ‘create connections to Tri-Cities history’, and that comes with a promise to protect, to the best of our capacity, the historical artifacts donated by members of our community. With this grant, we now have the materials and the know-how to respond quickly in the case of flood, fire, or other disaster, limiting the loss of treasured artifacts.
In May 2023, our team revisited flood-based recovery techniques with our own scenario. "Artifacts" donated by Love INC Upscale Resale Store helped us determine the best methods for wood, metal, glass, ceramic, textile, paper, and art.
Safe handling of artifacts affected by a flood is critical, as is the protection of the individual recovering those artifacts. In the case of flood, mud, debris, chemicals, or other substances will cloud the water, making it difficult and potentially unsafe to work. Safety of staff always comes first.