Tag Archives: North Central Washington

Sandy Cohen Named New Museum Director!

02-Focus-Sandy-Cohen-600-304The board of trustees of the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center has contracted with Sandor “Sandy” Cohen of Albuquerque, New Mexico, to become the museum’s new executive director.

“We are pleased to have received so many applications from very qualified candidates, both locally and nationally,” board president Karen Russell said. “It was a difficult decision but we are confident that Sandy, with the support of our staff, board and community, has the ability to take us to the next level in our strategic planning.”

Cohen, who most recently served as director of the Albuquerque International Balloon Museum in New Mexico, was one of three finalists recently interviewed by the board. Cohen’s other museum positions include director of the LBJ Library and Museum in Austin, Texas, and assistant director of the National Museum of American Jewish Military History in Washington, D.C. He holds a master of arts degree from Wright State University and a bachelor’s degree in history from Towson State University in Baltimore, Md.

Cohen and his wife, Debbie, will be relocating to Wenatchee and he will begin his new post no later than June 15. He fills a position vacated by Brenda Abney in December. Jim Russell has served as the museum’s interim director during the candidate search.

Lynn Bourton of Diversified Human Resource Consulting was hired by the museum to oversee the recruitment process. Staff and board members were involved in interviews, and a public reception was held at the museum so that community members and stakeholders could meet the final candidates.


Help Us Build a Pop-Up Museum Oct. 3!


We invite everyone to participate in a Wings and Wheels-themed “Pop-Up Museum” on Friday, October 3 at the Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center.

A pop-up museum is a temporary exhibit created by people who show up with objects to display and share – sort of like a community show and tell.

If you would like to participate, bring any object that fits the Wings and Wheels theme to the Museum Friday, October 3, between 5 pm and 8 pm.

There will be blank labels available for you to fill out with information about whatever it is you are sharing. You can write about how this possession came to be yours or how it is meaningful to you. Then you put your object and label on one of the display tables and stay to share stories and information with other participants and visitors for as long as you like. By 8:00 everyone packs their objects away and takes them home.

Image: That is an autographed toy plane signed by legendary aviators Clyde Pangborn and Hugh Herndon after their historic non-stop trans-Pacific flight from Japan to Wenatchee in 1931. It was presented to Lewis M. Shreve and later donated to the museum and the people of the Wenatchee Valley by John L. Shreve.

WVM to Reopen Small Artworks Gallery

smallartAt the beginning of this year the Wenatchee Valley Museum opened a “Small Artworks” Gallery as a pilot project. It was an effort to benefit North Central Washington artists and local art collectors and to foster a greater appreciation for collecting and displaying art in our area.

The pilot program was a success and now the Museum is expanding the Small Artworks Gallery!  Two additional cases have been added in the museum’s entrance lobby to display work. A “Call for NCW Artists” is available to encourage participation and the gallery will open on November 7during the Wenatchee First Friday ArtWalk in time for holiday shopping.

The deadline for North Central Washington Artists to submit their work to be juried is October 4, 2014.

Here are the rules for the exhibit:

Artists must be 18 years or older and live in Chelan, Douglas, Grant or Okanogan County.

Artists may submit up to 10 pieces in any media. NO STUDENT WORK PLEASE.

All work must be No Larger than 16” in any direction, including any mats or frames.

All work must be priced under $100. All sales will be done through the Museum with a commission rate of only 30%.

All submissions are by digital image – up to 10 images may be submitted.

For more information contact:  Bill Rietveldt, WVMCC Curator of Exhibits, 888-6247, billr@wvmcc.org

Explore Cultural Landmarks With Native Guide Randy Lewis May 18!

IMG_0324 Randy Lewis  3Explore culturally significant locations from the Peshastin Pinnacles to
the Wenatchee Heights with Native American guide Randy Lewis during a day-long bus tour Sunday, May 18. The bus will depart the Wenatchee Valley Museum for the six-hour tour with a stop for a no-host lunch along the way. Tickets are $45 per person.
This educationally intensive tour provides a perspective on a rich Native American Columbia Plateau heritage. Lewis, a gifted storyteller who traces his roots to the Wenatchi band, will share the stories of his people associated with local landmarks including Saddle Rock, Eagle or Lincoln Rock and the Owl Sisters. The tour coincides with the May 16 opening of the Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center’s A River of Baskets exhibit featuring the work of Columbia River tribal basketmakers.
Lewis is enthusiastic about sharing the history of his people and the stories his ancestors wove from the surrounding landscape. He hopes deeper understanding will lead to a greater respect and awareness for ancient cultures.
“It was not uncommon to stumble across artifacts in the orchards when I was a kid,” Lewis said. “Columbia River lithography is just incredible and prolific. We were always uncovering points, arrowheads, beautiful jasper pieces. We learned from the elders to put them back where we found them, apologize for the disturbance and cover them back up.”
Besides the obvious landmarks associated with the Columbia Plateau, Lewis will talk about the many local ancient village sites and share what life was like for the people who lived in tule lodges along the banks of the Columbia River, catching and drying fish, hunting and gathering vegetables in the surrounding hills.
To purchase tickets for the tour, call the museum at 509-888-6240 or stop by the Museum at 127 South Mission in Wenatchee

Support Your Community, Support River Of Baskets


“River of Baskets” is set to open in Wenatchee May 16, 2014, and will travel over the next two years to other cultural centers and museums along the Columbia River.

But we need your help. 

Our fundraising goal for this campaign is $9,500 and is the final push toward the total budget needed to create this special exhibition and series of programs. We have only raised $950 so far, which is far short of our goal.

Specific needs for the funding are to provide:

  • Educational programming for school groups and community members that includes demonstrations and hands-on learning from our Native participants.
  • Safe transportation and installation of baskets from individuals and organizations participating in the exhibition.
  • Creation of an accompanying video featuring participating artisans.
  • Hosting Native artisans who are participating in the exhibition and accompanying video.

Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center, a non-profit organization with a successful 75 year history, will open a comprehensive and beautiful exhibit honoring thirteen contemporary Native basket makers of the Columbia River, and the work of their ancestors who created baskets.  These artisans are preserving the enduring traditions of their people, and are held in high regard in their own communities.  They represent tribes from the headwaters to the mouth of the mighty Columbia River.

We are seeking funding to ensure this exhibition is of the highest quality and pays proper respect to the Basketmakers, both contemporary and historical, who carry on this ancient craft.

Please donate what you can today via our indiegogo campaign here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-river-of-baskets-an-exhibition-of-columbia-river-tribal-basketmakers

Watch our informational video on the project here:

Explore! An Ecosystem Near You

ImageKids can explore the web of life from 9 a.m. to noon, March 31-April 3 at the Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center. Visiting experts and museum staff lead this exciting class for kids in grades 3-5 featuring walking field trips, art lessons, and science experiments. 

“We want kids to really understand ecosystems including the one they are part of,” said museum education coordinator Selina Danko. 

Students will build a terrarium, create a doomsday vault, clone a plant, build a mini-greenhouse, study leaf pigments and conduct a plant-feeding experiment during the four-day class.

Daily walking tours feature Wenatchee’s urban landscape and river areas. Students will examine mud near the riverbank in search of footprints left behind by nocturnal animals. Water samples from different areas of the river will be collected for microscopic study.

“We will draw, paint, walk and conduct experiments while learning to use all of our senses to learn about the world around us,” Danko said. “This class will be loads of fun.”

Cost of the program is $20 per day for museum members, $25 for nonmembers. To attend all week, cost is $70 for members and $85 for nonmembers. Call 509-888-6240 or visit the museum to pay for classes.

Dora Tibbets: Homesteader and Women’s Rights Pioneer

Cashmere was still Old Mission and Chelan County was yet to be named when Dora Tibbits and her husband Milton carved a living from their Dryden homestead in the early 1900s. With land on both sides of the Wenatchee River, their property existed in both Kittitas and Okanogan counties.

“It surely is a nuisance,” Tibbits writes of her thoughts of the governmental divide and the efforts to form a new county. “I suppose the old mossbacks are still in the majority, and can’t be convinced that the increased value of their land would more than make up for the extra taxes necessary to make a separate county of this valley.”

Tibbits is one of five historical figures featured Feb. 22 during the Wenatchee Valley Museum’s People of Our Past program.

While Tibbits was busy with the chores of ranch life, she still had time to bend her husband’s ear when it came to local politics and the stubborn holdouts against the formation of Chelan County.

“What dolts they are,” Tibbits writes in her memoir Reminiscences of a Ranch Woman. “I wish women could vote — I’d get out and rustle them all to the polls, and we’d win the day. Women are not so pig-headed as men and can be convinced more easily to modern methods.”

Tibbits, portrayed by Kathy Smithson, is one of five historical North Central Washington characters presented by the museum this winter. The rest of the lineup includes Wenatchee industry builder and pioneer E.T. Pybus, portrayed by Don Collins; Wenatchee First Citizen John A. Gellatly, portrayed by Marv Gellatly; railroad baron James J. Hill, portrayed by Bill Murray; and Colockum-area mail-order bride Nellie Cox, played by Sue Lawson.

Each actor will perform three times during the day with a culminating evening meet-and-greet gala starting at 6 p.m. Performances at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. are by donation. Tickets for the evening event are $15 for members and $20 for non-members and include historically themed heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine, live music and a chance to mingle with the characters following the performance.

For more information about the People of Our Past program, contact Selina Danko at 888-6240 or sdanko@wvmcc.org.