Jacksonville Area Museum to be Feature of This Week’s Illinois Stories for Post Grand Opening Tour

By Jeremy Coumbes on October 14, 2021 at 3:47pm

The newest Jacksonville attraction will again be hitting the television airwaves over the next few days.

The Jacksonville Area Museum will be featured in a brand new episode of the PBS television show Illinois Stories starting tonight.

Executive Director of the museum David Blanchette says the show came to the museum when it was still under development a little over a year ago which he says really helped to keep up the public’s interest in the Museum while in the last stages of development.

He says the museum is very pleased to have the show back for an updated edition now that the museum is finally open.

About a week after our grand opening the host Mark McDonald came back and spent half the day here again filming what people can see when they visit the museum. It will start airing this week on various PBS stations, and as with all Illinois Stories programs, will probably air periodically for a number of months so it’s some great free publicity for us. It can also be searched on their YouTube channel so we encourage people if they haven’t visited yet, or even if they have to search out that YouTube program.

Blanchette says the museum is completely different from the open house that was held a year ago when Illinois Stories came to tape the first show. He says by comparison the museum was a bare shell of a building compared to the full museum it is today.

If you haven’t been to the museum, what you are going to find is a very delightful way of learning various aspects of Jacksonville’s history. Some of which you probably weren’t aware of and we are making use of the artifacts we do have on hand to really tell stories about Jacksonville and connect them with people. Some of the exhibits have cutouts of actual people from history that help tells the story, and that kind of humanizes it and makes it a little more interesting.”

Blanchette says the Jacksonville Area Museum’s audiovisual program has also received praise from visitors that helps to answer some common questions about Jacksonville.

Blanchette says even though the museum just recently held its grand opening last month, things are always changing and traveling exhibits will be a feature with another one coming next month.

We have the Voices and Votes from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street coming and we are going to have an opening program on that day, Saturday, November 20th.

That will be on display for about a month, and then the gallery in which that will be located, once that exhibit leaves, we will update that with a brand new exhibit on a major Jacksonville industry that we just got a major donation of artifacts for. So that’s kind of a surprise that is coming up in the near future.”

The new episode of Illinois Stories will air tonight at 7:00 PM, Sunday, Oct. 17, at 4:00 PM, and Monday, Oct. 18, at 6:30 PM. This airs on WSEC, WQEC, WMEC which is part of the WSIU Public Broadcasting System.

The Jacksonville Area Museum is open Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday of each week from 10 am to 4 pm. Blanchette says the museum is always in need of volunteers and sponsors.

More information about volunteering as well as membership in the museum can be found at jacksonvilleareamuseum.org