History museum to begin fundraisingPublished 1:27pm Thursday, October 17, 2013
Museum Director Steve Arseneau has big plans for the Dowagiac Area History Museum.
The museum, which opened just five months ago, was transferred from its original location at Southwestern Michigan College to the central business district in downtown Dowagiac into a building that originally held retail outlets.
The Dowagiac City Council gave the Museum Advisory Committee (MAC) the go-ahead to begin fundraising at is regular meeting Monday night.
“It’s really a long-term plan,” said Arseneau. “We are doing some general fundraising. People make donations to help us currently, but the plan we’re developing is more of a five-year plan.”
The MAC’s main fundraising priority is to raise enough money to renovate the museum’s second floor.
“A renovation would add about 2,000 square-feet of exhibit space. We will be able to expand our Dowagiac exhibit and Cass County exhibits and host two to four exhibits per year,” Arseneau said.
The museum currently features 4,000 square feet of exhibits.
Arseneau estimates the second-floor renovation project to cost approximately $100,000.
“Because we are looking at some other long term projects, we’re trying to raise a lot more than that,” he said.
Arseneau said the MAC has not yet settled on any specific fundraisers that will be held.
“We are still working on our final plan, so we haven’t really gotten to the event planning stage yet,” he said. “I would expect that we’re going to start launching the big push this winter.”
There is no admittance fee to the museum, so fundraising , membership and donor contributions are imperative to the facility’s operation.
The Dowagiac Area History Museum is open Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.