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Our Vision


Museum L-A chronicles the history of work, industry and community in Lewiston and Auburn; serves as a community gathering place; creates engaging learning experiences; and contributes to the civic, cultural, and economic revitalization of L-A.

In 2006 Museum L-A’s Board of Directors of Museum L-A hired E. Verner Johnson, Museum Planners, to develop a Conceptual Master Plan. The planners met with hundreds of citizens – young and old; business, professional and community leaders; educators and students. A Community Forum titled “The Birth of a Museum” was held to gather direct input as to the future plans for a new Museum to preserve the rich heritage of the community. From this input, the planning document defines the core programs and activities of the Museum, develops the stories that the Museum will tell, documents the spaces needed to purse these programs and generates preliminary budget estimate that can be used for setting fundraising goals.

Strategic Plan Highlights

Mission:

Museum L-A strengthens community and connections between generations by documenting and celebrating the economic, social, and technological legacy of L-A and its people.

Vision:

Museum L-A chronicles the history of work, industry and community in Lewiston and Auburn; serves as a community gathering place; creates engaging learning experiences; and contributes to the civic, cultural, and economic revitalization of L-A.

Goals

Goal One: Gathering Place

Open a new museum with engaging temporary and permanent exhibitions, facilities for programming, and excellent storage for collections.

This is the central goal of this entire effort, and the core of the Museum’s Vision. Two key criteria for identifying a site were: it needed to be in the center of the downtown and, if at all possible, it needed to be in an old mill that is convenient for residents and visitors. The Museum will serve as a gathering point for people and organizations interested in preserving the cities’ history and will offer these groups galleries for temporary exhibitions and access to shared storage facilities.

Goal Two: Valued Resources

Ensure that the legacy of L-A’s industrial history continues to be preserved and shared.

A sharpened mission and vision will help Museum L-A clarify its collecting priorities and practices. The collections management policy – the critical first step in creating a comprehensive collecting plan – will guide sorting the collections that have been accepted but not yet accessioned. Offering high quality programming will keep Museum L-A visible in the community, build enthusiasm and support for a new facility, and give staff and volunteers opportunities to test ideas for the new museum.

Goal Three: Community Catalyst

Further Lewiston and Auburn’s civic agenda.

Museum L-A has exemplified what museums term “civic engagement” – the idea that museums need to be active participants in their communities – and that commitment is reflected in the Museum’s mission statement. This idea of the Museum as a community agent, using its collections and expertise outside as well as inside its building, reflects Museum leaders’ understanding that stewardship of collections and people’s stories carries with it an obligation for public service and recognition of the power of its work to strengthen community. The Museum will continue to rely on strong partners in Lewiston and Auburn to achieve this goal: Bates College Harward Center for Community Partnerships, Lewiston and Auburn Public Libraries, Androscoggin Chamber of Commerce, L-A Economic Growth Council, the schools, and the other local cultural and heritage organizations.

Goal Four: A Firm Foundation

Develop the organizational capacity to achieve this vision.

To achieve its mission and vision, Museum L-A undertook the task of redeveloping the Board of Directors into a visionary and involved group to support this increased level of activity and expected growth. Raising funds for a new museum is clearly a high priority. A marketing plan needs to be in place for fundraising. The Museum’s leadership is appropriately sensitive to the need for a strong foundation with a sustainable business plan and is already investigating earned income strategies.

The decline of Lewiston and Auburn after the factories began to close in the mid 20th century was significant and the effects are still apparent. Today, however, the cities are rebounding, with new businesses and industries, new immigrants, a growing cultural community, and revitalized city centers. The optimism of city leaders is reflected in the thoughtful way they are drawing connections between Lewiston-Auburn’s past and its future, through the revitalization of the mill buildings, and the very strong interest in developing a new museum for Lewiston-Auburn.

The Museum’s priorities are clear: To chronicle the history of work, industry, and community in Lewiston and Auburn through he histories of those who lived it; to provide a bridge across the difficult and dispiriting time of decline – from the unfolding history of the cities today back to Lewiston-Auburn’s heyday; and to help inform the future of the Twin Cities.

Museum L-A will also be part of the revival, contributing to the economic base of the city center, serving both residents and visitors to Lewiston and Auburn. The history of the industrial community captured in the Museum will be presented along three parallel lines that continue from the past into the present and future:

  • The people who worked in local industries,
  • Business and technological innovation and creativity, and
  • The economic, civic, and cultural development of Lewiston and Auburn.

Museum L-A chronicles the history of work, industry and community in Lewiston and Auburn; serves as a community gathering place; creates engaging learning experiences; and contributes to the civic, cultural, and economic revitalization of L-A.

Explore these links for an introduction to the past, present, and future of Museum L-A, and learn more about our institution.

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