MOI’s Exhibition Outlook

A sneak peak of what’s to come at the Museum of Idaho

Published online: Jan 21, 2022 Articles, History, Lifestyle Jeff Carr
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“What’s your next exhibit?” When you work at the Museum of Idaho (MOI), you get some great questions, but this simple one is by far the most common. In fact, we could probably create an “FAQ” page on our website that just links the user to upcoming exhibit listings and nothing else. 

We’re usually happy to answer the question, though, because we’re pretty proud of our traveling exhibit program, which is on par with the biggest museums in the biggest cities in America.

There is another question we like even more, though: “What’s new at the museum?” 

As a nonprofit, we may be perpetually limited by time and money, but there is never a shortage of ideas. And despite the difficulties of the past couple of years, the museum is emerging in a position to start firing on a number of the ideas we’ve been working on. Yes, exhibits may be the most well-known way the museum fulfills its mission of inspiring wonder and discovery, but it’s far from the only way. Here’s a taste of what else is coming:

Online archives. Even with the expanded building and new exhibits, the museum can only display a tiny percentage of the items in its possession. These thousands of objects, documents, and photos are significant parts of Eastern Idaho history that capture stories about your community, but until now, you’ve had to be an archivist at the museum to see most of them. That’s why we’re excited to announce that thanks to a grant, some generous donations, and a lot of scanning, we’ll soon be making those collections—starting with our historic photos—freely accessible through a database on our new website. Curious what your neighborhood looked like 100 years ago? Search and you shall find.

Exclusive digital content. Starting in 2022, members of the Museum of Idaho have access to an ever-growing portal of exclusive original content on our website, including fun educational videos, virtual tours, activities for kids and behind-the-scenes experiences.

Lower-cost memberships. Speaking of members, we never want finances to stand in the way of learning opportunities. 

That’s why in addition to our popular program that provides $1 admission for individuals and families on the SNAP program (formerly known as Idaho Food Stamps), we’re also rolling out our ALICE Membership Program, which allows families who fall into the “asset-limited, income-constrained, employed” (ALICE) category (basically the “working poor”) to purchase museum memberships at half price.

A new era of Museum After Dark. Assuming we can all stop getting each other sick, we’ll be resuming a full schedule of Idaho Falls’ most creative date night: Museum After Dark. The popular program brings new combinations of learning, competition, irreverence and hors d’oeuvres, and now has double the space to work with. This opens up some intriguing new possibilities for your evening on the town.

And there’s plenty more where that came from, including our beloved camps and programs for kids like Little Learners, Meet a Scientist, and Night at the Museum. We’ve even recently expanded our team so we can do more of everything we do best. 

Now, since you’ve been patient, we do have two new special exhibits in 2022 as well. On January 22, the museum unveils “Genghis Khan: Culture and Conquest.” With a variety of original artifacts from 13th century Mongolia and beyond, this exhibit tells the story of the man the Washington Post called the single most influential person of the last millennium, thanks both to his incredible brutality and the positive advancements he spread over history’s largest land empire. 

The exhibit also brings a totally new element to the museum—daily live performances. 

Then in September, MOI shifts gears with another new exhibit: “Toytopia.” This show immerses visitors in the joyous history of play, taking you through the toys of your childhood all the way back to the toys of your ancestors. 

Naturally, Toytopia also features playable (and Instagrammable) experiences for kids and kids at heart, including Lego tables, the world’s largest Etch-a-Sketch, an ’80s arcade and more. 

If you call our offices and no one answers, you’ll know where to find us. 

Click here to read more of the January issue of Idaho Falls Magazine. 

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