Highline Historical Society reaps awards for ‘Hope in Hard Times’ exhibit


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Highline Historical Society curator Nancy Salguero McKay displays the Exhibit Award given to the Society by the Washington Museum Association.

Highline Historical Society curator Nancy Salguero McKay displays the Exhibit Award given to the Society by the Washington Museum Association.

The Highline Historical Society has been reaping acclaim and honors for its ‘Hope in Hard Times’ exhibit, which ran from October through December last year in a pop-up museum location on SW 153rd Street in Burien.

Last week the Washington Museum Association honored the Historical Society with its annual Exhibit Award, a statewide honor. Earlier in the spring the Association of King County Historical Organizations also selected the Hope in Hard Times exhibit as the top exhibit in the county in 2013.

The exhibit focused on how Highline residents survived the hard times of the Great Depression, and drew parallels to what current Highline residents have had to do to get through our more recent economic downturn.

The basis for the exhibit was a series of information panels generated by an exhibit at the Washington History Museum in Tacoma and made available with the support of Humanities Washington. Then Highline Historical Society curator Nancy Salguero McKay developed several additional displays of artifacts using items from the Society’s collections and loaned by local residents.

The Washington Museum Association Award cited the creative design of the Highline Historical Society’s exhibit and also praised the Society for its robust partnerships and programming during the exhibit. The Hope in Hard Times exhibit hosted hundreds of local schoolchildren on field trips and initiated programming partnerships with the Burien Library, Puget Sound Radio Enthusiasts, the Tin Room Theater, Sustainable Burien, the South King County Genealogical Society, the Burien Actors Theatre, and more.

In an apt example of offering hope in hard times, last December when the Burien Actors Theatre was faced with shutting down its Depression-era holiday play following an arson fire at its customary venue, the Highline Historical Society invited BAT to transfer the entire production to the pop-up museum, where it played out the rest of its dates through the holiday season.

The Hope in Hard Times exhibit concluded at the beginning of this year, and the pop-up museum was dismantled. Now the Highline Historical Society is engaged in a capital campaign to raise funds to build a permanent museum at its property on the corner of SW 152nd and Ambaum Blvd. SW.

For more information about the Historical Society, visit www.highlinehistory.org.

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