Celebrating Volunteers and Museums

Be sure to check out the April program listings for things to do on the PA Trails of History.

As National Volunteer Week winds down, we are getting ready for our annual Volunteer of the Year Awards ceremony tomorrow (well, we've been getting ready for a while now, we didn't wait until today--not for all of it anyway). The State Museum of PA will host staff and volunteers from all over the Trails of History as we recognize individuals for specific contributions during 2014. This is one of the high points of our year at the PHMC, a chance to celebrate the work we do together to preserve and present the Commonwealth's heritage. And another chance to say "thank you" to all of our volunteers for more than 112,000 hours of service in Fiscal Year 2013-14. Look for more information in the Trailheads feature in the summer issue of Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine.

Last year's honorees for service in 2013 with Commissioners, Site Administrators, and Associate group board members (photo by Don Giles)

Another cause for celebration this coming week is the 40th birthday of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania on Wed., April 22. The original museum building, designed by Stotz, Hess & MacLachlan, was the first in North America designed specifically as a railroad museum. During its lifetime, it has expanded at least twice, and plans for the coming few years include new exhibits and a roundhouse for storage and display of rolling stock. On April 25, the museum will open its 2015 changing exhibit, "Riveted Jacket of Many Colors: A Photo History of GG1 No. 4800," a locomotive also known as "Old Rivets."

Original plan for Railroad Museum of PA (forgive the wonky slide scanning)

I usually don't include info in Trailheads that doesn't relate pretty directly to the Trails of History. However, I spent a couple of hours the other night watching this year's entries for "Museum Dance Off 2: Electric Boogaloo," and I just have to share. Organized by an insider-y blog called "When You Work at a Museum," this is the second year of what I think started out as a lark. Last year's Dance Off really created some buzz and so now we have the sequel. Great dancing? Umm, no. Well, mostly no. But it's an international array of staff and volunteers showing off their museums and some dorky enthusiastic dance moves. You don't have to watch them all at once; voting will be in groups for round 1, starting on Monday, April 20. There are some trends - "Uptown Funk" (or parodies of it) and "You Can't Touch This" are popular music choices. And if you've been around since the 80s and 90s, you'll recognize a lot of the dance moves. Anyway, it's really joyful (one from NZ is kind of dark) and a great way to celebrate museums, whether you work in one or just like going to them. You'll find links to all the videos and instructions on voting on the blog. Enjoy!


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