The Museums at the Crossroads Consortium is expanding its membership and changing its name to reflect its new partnership strategy. It’s now the Champaign County Museum Network. Champaign County is filled with fun and interesting museums. Since 1996, many of these museums have worked together as the Museums at the Crossroads Consortium. Brought together originally for a Museums in the Classroom grant, the organization meets monthly and has collaborated on a wide variety of projects that benefit all its members, including advertising publications, classes for local Osher Lifelong Learning Institute members, and an annual informational and activity tent at the Urbana Sweetcorn Festival. “When we work together, we save a great deal of time and energy,” said Network vice president Pam Leiter. “For example, sharing one tent at the Urbana Sweetcorn Festival means representatives of each museum only need to work a short shift to keep the tent staffed. This allows museums with fewer employees to participate in larger events without exhausting their resources.”
In addition to the current museums, the Network is adding memberships for both individuals and a wide variety of area organizations. “Museums don’t stand alone in the county,” stated Leiter. “We are part of a larger network of volunteers, teachers, archivists, emerging museum professionals, schools, libraries, historical societies, convention and visitors bureaus, and media groups that work together to provide fun and educational opportunities to central Illinois communities. Our new updates, such as adding affiliates like the Illinois Distributed Museum, better represent who we are and how we work.”
The Network follows this mission: The Champaign County Museums Network (CCMN) empowers members by forging connections that encourage best practices among museums and museum professionals and promotes each institution as relevant, engaging, and integral members of our community.
The Museum Members of the Network:
Anita Purves Nature Center (Urbana Park District)
Champaign County History Museum
Homer Lake Interpretive Center (Champaign County Forest Preserve District)
Krannert Art Museum (University of Illinois)
Museum of the Grand Prairie (Champaign County Forest Preserve District)
Orpheum Children’s Science Museum
Pollinatarium (University of Illinois)
Sousa Archives and Center for American Music (University of Illinois)
Spurlock Museum (University of Illinois)
William Staerkel Planetarium (Parkland College)
For more information on the Network, its museums, and membership opportunities, visit its website at www.champaigncountymuseums.org.