Perhaps I have begun to take our cultural offerings for granted, because I didn’t realize until recently that Minnesota is fortunate to have nearly 600 museums located throughout the state. That’s twice as many per resident than the national average. Minneapolis and St. Paul are home to 55 museums alone, which is twice the number that can be found in all of Chicago. I learned these facts because May is Museums Month here in Minnesota.
That’s right—it’s the month to celebrate the varied, wondrous artwork and artifacts that can be found on display across the state’s many galleries. To celebrate the cultural and economic contributions museums large and small bring to each community, the Museum Association of Minnesota has helped launch what will be an annual month-long celebration. (One stat from their campaign caught my attention: Minnesota museums attracted an estimated 14 million visitors in 2011. In comparison, the Twins, Viking, Lynx, Timberwolves, and Wild events combined drew 5.9 million visitors in 2011.)
So as travel bloggers we will be doing our part throughout the month to support the cause. This weekend, you might want to start your own museums month by attending the Walker Art Center’s Jewelry Artist Mart. On Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., 22 local artists will be showing, and selling, their artisan jewelry. You can also sample some handmade toffee from local confectioner Steve Kippels. The event is free; proceeds will support the Walker’s artistic and educational programs. Walker members may want to attend a special Member Mimosa Preview at 10 a.m. RSVP is required.
From unique Russian artwork to the history of electricity, our state’s museums and their eclectic exhibits educate, entertain, and enrich our communities. There’s much to celebrate. Make your plans now. There’s enough to fill your travel calendar all month long, and for years to come.