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Imagination, Collaboration & Recession-Era Financing: Out-of-the-Box Centennial Planning from Cochise & Yavapai Counties
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Imagination, Collaboration & Recession-Era Financing: Out-of-the-Box Centennial Planning from Cochise & Yavapai Counties


The recession is in full swing with its characteristic budget cuts and museum downsizing; with its discretionary spending spent; with its the directional arrow in all forecasts happily pointing in …

The recession is in full swing with its characteristic budget cuts and museum downsizing; with its discretionary spending spent; with its the directional arrow in all forecasts happily pointing in the wrong direction – UP for joblessness, UP for bankruptcy, and UP for unemployment... in essence the “state of our state” in jeopardy, so... who’s thinking about our 100th birthday party? We are!
Working on the assumption that the sum is greater than the parts, two Arizona counties are working on a regional scale to optimize their respective resources.
Join Cochise County team players to learn just how far we, the museum community in Cochise County, work together with City & County governments, Sheriff’s departments and military forts, history buffs and writers, college professionals and business owners in using our imagination, knowledge, and resources to replace that budget long lost down the proverbial rabbit hole! Cochise’s “History in the Park” is a traveling, out-door exhibition of life-sized figures (with an accompanying publication) whose collective stories created our history.
Join Yavapai County team players to learn how they engage their communities in developing “cachets”, or first-day covers designed by school children, to coincide with the release of the Arizona State Centennial stamp in 2012 and individualized postal cancellation stamp; learn how we collaborated on a book about Yavapai County communities and their history, trail maps, riparian areas, art, and events.

Co-Chairs: Carrie Gustavson, Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum, Director Denise Lundin, Cochise County, Clerk of the Superior Court
Panelists: Janis Ann Sterling, Chairman, Yavapai County State Centennial Committee

For more on the Museum Association of Arizona Conference (including other presentations), see

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  • 1. A presentation by Carrie Gustavson Director, Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum Denise Lundin Clerk of the Superior Court, Cochise County Museum Association of Arizona Annual Conference June 5, 2010
  • 2. What are we? The Cochise County Arizona Centennial Committee, comprising members from museums, county and city government, businesses, and historians, is tasked with the planning of a countywide celebration of Arizona’s 100th birthday.
  • 3. Who are we? The diversity and inclusiveness of the Cochise County Arizona Centennial Committee has made this working group fun! Member organizations of the Committee are: Amerind Foundation Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum Chiricahua Regional Research Center City of Benson City of Bisbee City of Sierra Vista City of Willcox Cochise College Cochise County Government Cochise County Historical Society Cochise County Historians Cochise County Tourism Alliance Ft. Huachuca Museum Gadsden Hotel, Douglas Henry Hauser Museum, Sierra Vista Rex Allen Museum, Willcox San Pedro Valley Arts & Historical Society Sierra Vista Historical Society Sulphur Springs Valley Historical Society Tombstone Chamber of Commerce Tombstone Courthouse Town of Huachuca City
  • 4. So… What’s the plan?
    • Cochise County’s history reflects that of the State; in essence our history is Arizona’s history in microcosm.
    • Centennial project ‘History in the Park’ tells the story of 20 th -century Cochise County from the perspective of those who made it.
    • ‘ History in the Park’ is an outdoor, travelling exhibit comprising 25 to 30 life-size photo cutouts based on historic images from our County’s museums & archives.
    • With a planned kick-off at the 2011 Cochise County Fair, ‘History in the Park’ will travel to all Cochise County communities during the centennial year.
  • 5. To which we are adding…
    • An accompanying booklet, offering the stories of each of our selected characters, that will be available at our museums and libraries, free to all County residents.
    • An interactive website that expands our audience and content, allowing us to share more with more.
    The exhibit, website, and informative booklet offers an anchor for local commemorative activities through the centennial year.
  • 6. Where did we start? Cochise County Arizona Centennial Historic Figure Matrix Selecting Cochise County’s ‘history makers’ was a very detailed process, weaving together representative occupations, geographical distribution throughout the County, and broad chronological coverage.
  • 7. Cochise County Historical Figures: ‘The List’ George Warren Rex Allen Edward Monk China Mary Elsie Toles Madeline Wyatt Where are we now?
  • 8.
    • To secure state recognition through the Arizona Historical Advisory Committee Legacy program and the Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation.
    • To introduce fundraising for the ‘Adopt a Figure’ program
    • To develop website
    • To secure partners for in-kind printing donation…
    • And… to have everything completed by September, 2011.
    What’s next?
  • 9.
    • 100% volunteer planning committee
    • In-kind donation of historical research
    • In-kind donation of website design & maintenance
    • In-kind donation of graphic design for figure production
    • Private donations, $450 for each historical photo-cutout
    • In-kind donation of book design & editing
    • In-kind donation of transportation & install (partnering with City & County Public Works departments)
    • In-kind donation of book printing
    • Using our collective imaginations, knowledge, and resources …
    • we have created a countywide Arizona Centennial Celebration in a recessionary economy with supporting budgets long lost down the proverbial rabbit hole… for less than $13,000 in private donations!
    How is this funded?
  • 10. The End