Museum looks to entice, inspire younger generationsApril 13, 2018
By CANDY NEAL
The Dubois County Museum is striving to entice younger generations to visit and become part of the museum family.
With that, the museum elected a new president in January, 35-year-old Amy Weyer.
“We’ve been wanting to appeal to younger people,” said Mary Ann Hayes, former museum president and longtime supporter. “Amy brings in new ideas from a younger perspective, which is what we want.”
Amy lives in Ferdinand with her husband, Matt, and their two children: 4-year-old Hannah and 3-year-old Henry. She hails from the Fort Wayne area and has a business degree from Butler University in Indianapolis. While at Butler, she stayed in Washington, D.C. for a semester and interned for Smithsonian Associates.
“It is an educational outreach branch of the Smithsonian,” Amy said. “They do programming to send Smithsonian scholars out, and also to bring people in to the experience programs throughout the entire Smithsonian (complex).”
Amy developed a love for museums and nonprofits from her parents. “I grew up in a family where education was extremely important. My parents wanted us to experience lots of educational things,” she said. “So they would take us to museums. We would go to the theater a couple times a year. I think they wanted to broaden our horizons.”
Through her experiences, Amy realized that she was a visual learner. “Things make more sense when they are in a museum setting and I can see them and touch things. I can better understand them,” she said.
After getting married, she and Matt moved from Indianapolis to St. Louis, where she worked at Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation in fundraising, as well as at the Missouri History Museum doing youth and family programs.
“When I got to see kids come into a museum to play with things and touch things, I realized that is a really cool experience and environment for children,” Amy said. “They learn and become passionate and, ultimately, better stewards in the community.”
The couple lived in St. Louis for four years before deciding to move to Ferdinand, Matt’s hometown. Last year, the museum board asked Matt to be on the board. He suggested that Amy serve instead, and the board welcomed her. She was on the board for a year and became president in her second year.
Amy is excited to bring more programming for children and young adults.
“I’d like to start a young members group — people in their 20s, 30s, 40s — where we can get vested in the museum,” she said. “You know, there’s not really a ton around here for us to do. I’d like to have things that will intrigue our mind and also play into the history of the county.”
Weyer hopes that more people will get involved with the Dubois County Museum.
“I can’t encourage people enough to get out to the museum and see it and take part in some of our programming, especially for the youth,” she said. “I think they’ll be surprised, pleasantly surprised. A lot of rural communities don’t have this. This is really special.”
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