Public’s continued input vital to museum, supervisor says
Laura Phillippi has just begun her work as the site supervisor for the Lansing Historical Museum and is looking to the community for input on what they would like to see in their museum.
"It's the community's museum," she said, "so if they have any ideas or would like to volunteer, they can contact me here at the museum."
Phillippi, 26, who began the job Jan. 3, is working to prepare the museum for its reopening on Feb. 21. The museum, which until Jan. 1 was operated by the Lansing Historical Society, is closed for the winter.
Because she is the museum's sole full-time employee, Phillippi finds herself working on her own the majority of the time.
"I'm an army of one, almost," she said.
She will spend the next several weeks preparing for the opening by recording the museum's artifacts in the PastPerfect museum archiving database, generally cleaning up the museum and removing unnecessary items, writing grants and completing displays.
For a display on local schools, Phillippi has uncovered a small school bell but would also like to find a lunchbox. She has decorated the display case with fabric from home.
Future plans include an oral history project involving military veterans and framing a U.S. flag that was flown over the capital in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the museum's dedication.
Before arriving in Lansing, Phillippi, originally from Marysville, knew only the basics about the area - "I knew it had a prison," she said.
Now she works on Lansing Correctional Facility property, where the museum has a 99-year lease at $1 per year.
Before receiving her degree in history, with a minor in ethnic and gender studies, from Emporia State University in 2002, Phillippi was planning on becoming a secondary education teacher. However, a difficult math requirement made her change her mind to history, with her focus still on education.
"I enjoy education others, but I'm not sure I want to do that in a school setting. A museum setting seems to be more my cup of tea," she said.
The museum, 115 E. Kansas Ave., will be open year-round, starting Feb. 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.