Fundraising planned for $8 million Blissfield farm museum

Capital News Service
LANSING – Efforts to bring a new agricultural museum to the Blissfield area are now focused on the next step in the museum process — fundraising. Pete Durbin, chair of Tri-County Historical Museum, Inc., which owns the farm toy collection that is central to the museum’s conception, said the process began late last year with the hiring of Dwyer Philanthropy from Adrian to run the campaign. According to Frank Baker, a board member of the Tri-County Historical Museum, formal fundraising has not begun, but intensive planning is underway to raise the $7 million to $8 million the museum is expected to cost. The idea for a museum of this size and nature came about after the owner of 6,000 farm toys and more than 360 pedal tractors offered to donate the collection anonymously to a local historical society of which Durbin was a member. Durbin said the historical society turned down the offer because it was a larger project than they wished to be involved in.

Museums tighten belts, hope for more funds

Capital News Service
LANSING – Arts and cultural venues in the state generated more than $2 billion in 2010 in tourism spending – more than golf, winter skiing, boating, sailing, hunting, fishing and viewing sporting events combined, a new Creative State Michigan report shows. However, the recession has hit Michigan museums hard. The Detroit Science Center closed due to financial hardship last year, for example, and the majority of Michigan museums have curtailed their opening hours. Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Snyder included $6.15 million in his 2013 budget proposal for the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs — a $3.6 million increase in state funding and the largest recommended increase since 2002. “If it is approved by the Legislature, our applicants such as nonprofit arts and cultural organizations will be eligible to receive more grants, awards and other funding from us,” said John Bracey, executive director of the council.