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Despite Weak Economy Maryhill Museum of Art Reports 17% Increase in Attendance
Samuel Colman (1832–1920), "Sunset, Lake George", c. 1860. Oil on canvas, 14” x 20”. Hudson River School Sojourn: From the Collections of Dr. Michel Hersen and Mrs. Victoria Hersen. Photo by Paul Foster.
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 it’s indicative of people staying closer to home and exploring their own backyard,” says Colleen Schafroth, Maryhill’s 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 museum’s inaugural NW Wine Auction was a sell-out.

One factor that may have helped boost Maryhill’s attendance is the museum’s 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 region’s must-visit attractions.

David Savinar, a Maryhill board member and co-chair of the museum’s marketing committee: “Maryhill is one of the Northwest’s best kept secrets. With more and more newcomers to the Pacific Northwest every year, our goal is to keep Maryhill’s 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 haven’t 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.”

Maryhill Museum of Art | The American Association of Museums | Colleen Schafroth |

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