We hope you enjoy this abbreviated version of the
Serving Frankenmuth Since 1906
Vol. 116 No. 45 - In our 116th year!
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Town Hall meeting planned for future museum galleries
Heidi Chapman is looking to the near future to plan to preserve the past 25-plus years of Frankenmuth community history.
Chapman, the Frankenmuth Historical Association director, is hosting a Town Hall Meeting to begin planning for new exhibits chronicling the history of Frankenmuth, now and back as far as 1995 – the last time the museum’s galleries were updated during Frankenmuth’s 150th anniversary of its founding, in 1845.
The Town Hall Meeting will take place on Tuesday, June 7, beginning at 6pm, at the museum and Fischer Hall, to start the process. The current eight-gallery museum has proudly communicated Frankenmuth’s history with locals and visitors for the past 27 years. Since then, thousands of new artifacts have been donated, stories unearthed and a lot of history has been made.
The FHA is planning a major exhibit expansion to take place in 2022 and 2023 and Chapman and her staff are looking for thoughts, ideas and input to help catch up with the past decades of history. Light refreshments will be provided.
This expansion is made possible through a partnership with the Frankenmuth Community Foundation (FCF). The Foundation conducted its Legacy Ball Dachshund Derby last month at Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth. The Ball generated dollars for the FHA to move forward with the project.
Chapman said the evening’s agenda is "fairly fluid” based on the attendees and how vocal they are about the project. She does encourage attendees to arrive well before 6pm and take some time to tour the current galleries that will be updated so they can see what will be changed.
Around 6:15pm, the group will gather in Fischer Hall for the staff’s presentation of the proposed plans, the before and after concepts, and subject matter that will be covered in each gallery.
“Then we will open it up to the attendees to share any ‘must-be-covered’ stories, feedback on hands-on activities, and see if anyone can help us with any artifacts we need to fill in the spaces,” Chapman said. “We are hoping to gain some artifacts through this meeting as we have very little from the past 25 years of Frankenmuth history as I think most people don’t view it as ‘history’ yet because that artifact may be so new to them.”
Following this meeting, Chapman is planning to have one or two more meetings, inviting persons to a behind-the-scene look at the construction, when we are in that phase, and then a first look right when everything is finished and before the FHA hosts an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“Of course, feedback and thoughts would be collected at those meetings as well. I should mention, the feedback stories and thoughts to be given may or may not be used in the final gallery. All will depend on content, subject matter, if we have artifacts and photos to tie it together, and funding,” Chapman explained.
While Chapman will be at the meeting, she will have Nathan Seeley, the FHA’s events, education and exhibits director run the meeting, gathering information to take back to Zentx Media Group, a Freeland-based firm who will be handling the exhibit construction.
Two eras of Frankenmuth’s earlier history will also be updated: The World War II gallery and the Brewing in Frankenmuth gallery. Chapman is looking for other ideas and she wants this to be a “true community project.”
“The Frankenmuth Historical Museum covers the community’s history, so we want members of the community to be involved. Plus, how often do you get to help design an exhibit that thousands of visitors will see for the next few decades,” Chapman noted.
Chapman and her staff look forward to a busy rest of 2022 as the planning turns into action.
"After an amazing kickoff to this project with the Legacy Ball, we are in full exhibit-planning mode and more excited than ever to get started! We have a fairly large matching grant that is due in a few weeks, then a few other grants on the docket as well so we hope to actually start this fall,” Chapman concluded.