Expanding Space for Community Culture in Longmont, Colorado
With the assistance of an NEH challenge grant that helped the museum raise an additional $600,000, the Longmont Museum completed a significant expansion in 2015. In years prior, the museum consisted of a few gallery spaces and education rooms. The expansion, which included a 250-seat auditorium, an atrium, and ample classroom space, doubled the museum’s public space and had a significant impact on its ability to serve the community through educational and culturally-enriching programming. In 2020, the NEH awarded the Longmont Museum a CARES grant to help it manage the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“[The Longmont Museum] is a feather in the cap for the whole town.”
With an emphasis on science, history, and culture at the center of its mission, the Longmont Museum is located 50 miles north of Denver and primarily serves the people of Boulder County. With its new space, the museum is able to host events that appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. Its premier event the annual Día de los Muertos celebration, which draws 6,000 attendees from across Colorado and the surrounding states. Each summer, the museum offers day camps for youth ages 3–18. Taste of Mexico offers Spanish language immersion and Western Settlers Camp teaches the history of the region through experiential learning. Other courses, including Digging Dinos and Kinetics Sculpture, teach STEM concepts. For adults, the museum offers music and art courses, film screenings that feature recent hits and cult favorites, and ballet and music performances. In 2017, the Longmont Museum partnered with the Centennial State Ballet to feature its fall showcase, which included excerpts from Carmina Burana and Don Quixote.
In addition to providing space for humanities, arts, and science learning, the Longmont’s new addition is an asset to other organizations in the community, many of which make use of its education space and auditorium. As Kim Manajek, Executive Director of the Longmont Museum describes it, the expansion is “a feather in the cap for the whole town.”