Founded more than 45 years ago as part of Imperial Valley College’s archaeological field school, the Imperial Valley Desert Museum is now an independent museum located in the Yuha Desert. In a new building, which opened in 2012, the museum stewards over 30,000 artifacts from the Imperial Valley and Eastern San Diego County, making the region’s cultural and natural history accessible to the people who inhabit it. Two NEH grants, including a challenge grant that helped the museum establish a $1.04 million endowment, have allowed the museum to protect its collections and create its first exhibition. Ultimately, this endowment provides stable funding for a curator and collections manager, and supports their efforts to “preserve, interpret, and celebrate” the deserts, cultures, and history of Southern California.
–Dr. David Breeckner, Executive Director, Imperial Valley Desert Museum