The Power of Place: Community Vitality & Montana’s Rural Museums – Sabre Moore


Garfield County Museum




Apr 28 2023


1:00 pm



The Power of Place: Community Vitality & Montana’s Rural Museums – Sabre Moore

Montana’s rural museums are vital to the state’s rural populations. Rural communities have unique histories that are embedded in the culture and context of broader regions. As such, rural museums foster community experience and history as meaningful and personal, while also nurturing regional identity and connection to local place. Many rural museums are located on Main Street, the hub of rural communities and fit the role of “Third Places,” or public places where people can gather and interact. These spaces are central to local democracy and a community’s social vitality. Rural museums often encapsulate both cultural and natural history collections, thereby providing a space to engage with the community’s geographic and demographic past, present and future. This presentation addresses museum social impact and how it can be applied in local communities throughout Montana to address well-being and vitality. This place-attentive strategy recognizes the value of physical place, the diversity of people within and connected to that place (both past and present), and frames place with power. Audiences will learn how rural museums can excel at deepening economic and educational impact and discover how museum social impact, an elusive and challenging dataset, can be measured in communities throughout Montana.

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