This special History News: Your Turn feature complements the article by Gary N. Smith entitled “House Museum Partnerships with Local Governments: A Broken Model?” which appears in the Summer 2011 edition of History News.
House museums are an important segment of the museum field, but they are increasingly in danger of being marginalized. Many are deteriorating physically, declining financially, and fading in importance to their communities. Increasingly the energy of the museum field has shifted to more dynamic science and natural history museums, and house museums appear out of step with trends of visitor interest. One of the major factors in this situation is the declining role of government funding, rendering many house museums as unsustainable as presently operated. What can we do to reverse this trend?
It’s Your Turn
We need good examples of new house museum business models that are succeeding in an era of decline in government funding at all levels. We are a creative group that thrives in coming up with new education programs and events, but what can we do to make sure that historic house museums are physically and financially sustainable beyond our generation? Let’s find and share success stories that show house museums adapting to less funding from the public sector and becoming more viable. Jump in and share below.