Leisa Taylor, Outreach Director for the Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures (GVM), delivered an interesting presentation about the history of the museum, its many past and present exhibits and thoughts about the future of the museum.  The museum is located at 200 Mountain Avenue in Fort Collins and is comprised of four galleries and a Museum Shop.
There are several of our club’s Rotarians who are on the Board of the GVM and, in fact, John Roberts was instrumental in the early years of the museum driven by his vision of a museum to house personal art owned by people in the local community.  The museum began as a folk art collection of Jeanne Nash’s in her basement, known as the Mundoville Museum.
The vision of the organization is to “strive to become an internationally renowned center for the celebration and presentation of world arts and cultures.”  Goals center around extending the human understanding of these elements of the arts through various exhibits of cultural pieces from around the world.  Regionally, GVM is recognized as an excellent vehicle to celebrate cultural diversity.  The museum is considered a first-class community educational opportunity.
Some of the the past exhibits Leisa told us about were the Splendor of Japan, the Wonders of West Africa, Miniature Art and various Doll displays from around the world.  Programs are many and include the Fort Collins Gallery Walk and, a local favorite, Story Time at the Museum.
An upcoming exhibit in the Main Gallery will be Nativities and Trees – Global Traditions which is back by popular demand.  It will run from November 3rd until January 20th.  The nativities will be representations of this “scene” as viewed by different cultures.  On November 11th, our club’s own Reverend Larry Kunter will be leading an excellent afternoon program entitled “Chronicle of the Crèche”
Also at the Museum you can see the Village Arts Wall which is dedicated to the Peace Corps that John Roberts was instrumental in the development of with contributions from his personal collection of pieces from his time volunteering with the Peace Corps.  You can also be entertained in the International Music Room, which contains various musical instruments from around the world.  This exhibit is popular with children as you can actually play and handle some of the exhibit’s instruments.  Other attractions are the Stewart Price Collection of Japanese and Asian Artifacts and the Hall Gallery which focuses on life in Istanbul.
All in all, a very good program that opened the club’s eyes to a local cultural opportunity that many of us were not aware of.  Leisa and her staff plan to continue to alternate new exhibits into the program lineup that will continue the theme of cultural diversity through viewing and experiencing items from around the world that help us locally better understand other cultures.