The Jacksonville Area Museum held a ribbon cutting and introduced a special element this evening ahead of their opening on Saturday.
After Chairman David Blanchette cut the ribbon to officially open the museum, he announced that a special east wing of the museum had been given a special designation. Long-time museum supporters Bob and Karen Sibert have been honored with the first named portion of the Jacksonville Area Museum.
The sign denoting Sibert Hall, the museum’s main exhibit gallery, was unveiled during the members-only preview.
Blanchette says that the museum would not be a reality today without the Siberts: “They have been very active in the Morgan County Historical Society, which was able to acquire this building and kept it up, and was able to raise the money to put a lot of the work into it that it needed. Not only that, but once it was turned over for use as the Jacksonville Area Museum, they’ve continued to offer their financial support and made their business available for a lot of the things that we made to fabricate the exhibits. It’s just been a constant stream of support through several decades that has made this possible, and we couldn’t be more thankful to the Siberts.”
Blanchette says he hopes when people look up at the sign denoting Sibert Hall that people remember the unwavering support of Bob and Karen Sibert and the Bound to Stay Bound Foundation for helping the museum open its doors.
Sibert Hall will act as the main exhibit hall. During the preview, members were brought in small groups to watch a video talking about a large collection of various items displayed inside the hall.
The museum will officially open to the public at 10AM on Saturday. The museum will use original artifacts, storytelling exhibits and the building itself, as well as items from the MacMurray College Foundation and Alumni Association collection, to show people of all ages and backgrounds why the Jacksonville community has been and continues to be one of a kind.
The museum will be open to the public Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday each week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be no admission fee but a donation of $5 is suggested to keep the all-volunteer museum operating.
Visit www.jacksonvilleareamuseum.org or connect with the Jacksonville Area Museum on Facebook for more information or to find out how to become a museum member or volunteer.