Tulare-Kings County museums connect with communities

(Rigo Moran)

Museum Alliance of Tulare-Kings Counties looks to hold its first event to welcome local communities in getting involved in the culture of the Central Valley

TULARE COUNTY – The Tulare County Office of Education is hosting a networking event for the Museum Alliance of Tulare-Kings Counties to highlight all the local cultural and historical organizations within the region.

The Museum Alliance of Tulare-Kings Counties, a consortium of over 20 museums, libraries and cultural sites in the two-county area, is hosting an open house at the Tulare County Office of Education (TCOE) this month. The free event is open to educators, artists and community members on Oct. 27 from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. in the Redwood Conference Center at 6200 S. Mooney Blvd.

“We’re looking to assist teachers in finding ways to kind of make learning fun, and really focusing on local history,” Amy King-Sunderson, the museum curator at Tulare County Museum at Mooney Grove Park,  said.

The event is targeted towards educators of all grades to learn about the wide range of educational opportunities offered by museums and cultural institutions in Tulare and Kings counties. Local institutions at the event include the Tulare County Museum, community museums in many local cities,  the Center for Art, Culture and History, Exeter (CACHE), the ImagineU Children’s Museum and the Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.

“I think it’s really important for our students to understand where they come from, and to have a rich background in the history of the place where they live,” Kate Stover, TCOE staff development and curriculum specialist, said.

The alliance is hoping that the event will increase field trips with local schools by helping increase the involvement with students of all ages in the area to teach them more about their environment. Information about study trips, guest speakers and curriculum resources for many of the institutions will be available for all who attend.

Even though the event is mainly for educators, the event is open to the public and provides a unique opportunity for community members to connect with local museums, libraries and art galleries in Tulare and Kings counties.

“The event was designed for educators, but if families want to come…all of these museums will be there. And they all have handouts that talk about when their hours are and what resources they have available. It’s open to anybody,” Stover said.

The museum alliance was started in 2019 to allow local cultural and historical institutions to share resources and increase their reach within the community.

“I’m most excited about the fact that we, in this area, do have such a rich cultural and arts tradition and history,” Stover said. “The fact that we have all of these amazing organizations, many of them nonprofits who are willing to share their time and their resources, to our students, families and our communities – I think – is huge.”

For more information on the event at the Museum Alliance of Tulare-Kings Counties visit https://matkc.org/about/.

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