The Wisconsin Historical Society is traveling around the state to hear from local communities about what they would like to see in a new, modern state history museum on Wisconsin’s Capitol Square in Madison, and on Monday, Feb. 11 Historical Society staff will conduct a listening session in Mauston at the Hatch Public Library, 111 W. State St.

The meeting runs from 6-7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. and will be conducted in partnership with the Juneau County Historical Society and the Hatch Public Library. The evening will start with an introduction to the new museum project. Guests will then hear from Alicia Goehring, director of special projects and then participate in two workshops.

For pre-event tickets visit, http://bit.ly/2FhPQXM.

“The new museum will be about more than bricks and mortar,” said Christian Overland, director of the Wisconsin Historical Society. “The new museum will reach all 72 counties and represent all Wisconsinites. Communities will be able to share their stories in this new museum network and because of that we want to hear from people all across the state.”

Guests will have the opportunity to share feedback on current design concepts, share their thoughts on “What makes Wisconsin, Wisconsin” and how they would like a state history museum to serve their community.

“Juneau County Historical Society is proud to partner with the Wisconsin State Historical Society in bringing the program “Share Your Voice” to Mauston,” said Karla Riley, Juneau County Historical Society board member. “It will be a unique opportunity to explore the rich history of the area and to tell our story.”

The Wisconsin Historical Society has been working toward building a new $120 million, 100,000-square-foot museum for more than 20 years. The new museum will more than double exhibition space and include state-of-the-art technology while providing learning, meeting and flexible spaces. The new museum will reach and connect people all across the state through distance learning technology and exhibits.

“The input we receive at these public workshops will help shape future exhibits and storylines,” Overland said. “This is a rare opportunity for the public to be a part of this process and to provide their vision of how the new museum can represent Wisconsin and their history to create relevant stories that have local significance and national impact.”

The Historical Society will conduct over 40 listening sessions in local communities across the state. All sessions are free and open to the public. For a full list of events and to pre-register visit, wihist.org/yourvoice.

“Listening sessions are community-based including African-American, American-Indian, Latino, and Hmong communities in multiple locations,” Overland adid. “These sessions are an important part of the process of ensuring the new museum represents the diversity and inclusion of the people of Wisconsin.”

For more information on the Wisconsin Historical Society visit wisconsinhistory.org.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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