Museum Master Plan
In February 2009 the Renton History Museum recently completed a new Museum Master Plan, after nine months of work led by Gyroscope, Inc., a nationally recognized museum planning and design firm. We worked with museum-goers, volunteers, staff, the Renton Historical Society board, Historical Society members, City of Renton staff, and many others to explore paths toward a sustainable future for the museum. The resulting plan provides a new vision for the museum’s next 15 years as the only local heritage organization for our growing community.
What is a Museum Master Plan?
The Master Plan lays out a new strategic approach—called the “Experimental History Project”—that will help the Renton History Museum better serve the need and interests of our community. This new approach calls on us to involve Renton residents and museums-goers in exploring historical questions. Exhibits and programs will break out of the traditional boundaries of history, using art and science, for example, to explore our city’s heritage. The Master Plan also outlines exciting changes to our physical building, including a more inviting entrance and lobby, a more open exhibit gallery, and a more engaging, pedestrian-friendly streetscape.
The Master Plan will help us improve the museum as a learning environment, enhance it as a place for the exchange of ideas, and reacquaint the community with our status as Renton’s only heritage organization. Most importantly, the plan will help us better connect the past with the present and the future.
As the Museum plans a fundraising campaign to implement parts of the Master Plan, the Renton Historical Society Board of Trustees and museum staff have been moving forward with the plan. We’re already changing temporary exhibits much faster—many of these have been collaborations with Renton students, artists, and local civic organizations. If you haven’t visited the Renton History Museum in the last three months, you’re probably missing something new.
In 2011 we took our plan out to local community leaders and potential donors to hear what they had to say about our new direction; we will be continuing that process in 2012. Plans are also underway to redesign our quarterly newsletter and to improve our lobby.
As work on the Master Plan continues, an online conversation about the future of the Renton History Museum continues on Twitter and Facebook. Updates will be posted here on our web site. Renton Historical Society members and donors will also receive regular updates through our newsletter.
If you would like more information about the Master Plan process or would like to be involved, please contact Museum Director Elizabeth P. Stewart by email or by phone at 425.255.2330. We look forward to working with you to make the Renton History Museum the best it can be.