GOLDENDALE, WA.- Maryhill Museum of Art
announced that attendance for the 2009 season increased 17% over 2008, with nearly 46,000 visitors coming through the door between March 15 and November 15. The American Association of Museums says that anecdotal evidence points to an increase in attendance at museums of all sorts across the nation.
I think its indicative of people staying closer to home and exploring their own backyard, says Colleen Schafroth, Maryhills executive director. Entertainment-wise museums offer a great value. For less than the price of a movie ticket, you can learn about regional history, explore a variety of exhibits and take part in a full range of special events and educational programs for children and adults.
New programs at Maryhill Museum of Art also drew record crowds a Fourth of July family program attracted nearly 1,000 visitors and the museums inaugural NW Wine Auction was a sell-out.
One factor that may have helped boost Maryhills attendance is the museums community-based Marketing Committee. The committee, comprising members from throughout the Gorge, the Portland Metro area and as far away as Salem, has been focused on forging partnerships, targeted advertising and media outreach to raise awareness of Maryhill as one of the regions must-visit attractions.
David Savinar, a Maryhill board member and co-chair of the museums marketing committee: Maryhill is one of the Northwests best kept secrets. With more and more newcomers to the Pacific Northwest every year, our goal is to keep Maryhills name out there and entice visitors out for the day, he says. We also want to reach out to folks who may have visited years ago and havent been back recently. We are lucky to have such a magnificent treasure in our own backyard and want people to come out and enjoy it.