Columbus Museum tackles education, integration with new five-year Strategic Plan

acarlson@ledger-enquirer.comMay 19, 2014 

Marleen De Bode Olivié is the Columbus Museum's strategic planning chair and also an art collector, a member of the Georgia Council for the Arts and an advocate for public art.

ROBIN TRIMARCHI — rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com Buy Photo

The Columbus Museum has new vision, after a year of workshops and internal scrutiny and interviews with staffers and community members.

Specifically, the museum has a new Strategic Plan for 2015-2019.

The plan was approved during last week’s Annual Members Meeting, after the museum hired the Lord Cultural Resources in 2013 for just such an undertaking.

“It’s been an intense process, it’s been fabulous, it’s been collaborative. We’ve learned a lot,” said Marleen De Bode Olivié, the museum’s strategic planning chair.

The year of assessment gave the museum’s board a picture of the present; the new plan provides goals for the future:

• Bring the museum more into the community and the Valley

• Establish the museum as a leader in education

• Provide a fun and enjoyable museum experience

• Provide for longterm sustainability

• Strengthen the museum’s brand and communication efforts

It’s points two and three that are most immediately important, De Bode Olivié said.

“Sometimes people are a little hesitatnt to enter museums, so we really want to improve that,” she said, pointing toward the South’s distinctive culture of hospitality.

The museum will also seek to expand and depend its longstanding partnership with the Muscogee County School District. De Bode Olivié said that the board will charge staff with integrating the museum’s history and art collections, which will empower their educational mission.

“In a way, art has a job to fulfill ... One of the strengths of the Columbus Museum is it really tells the regional story very well,” De Bode Olivié said.

With Executive Director Tom Butler’s retirement on the horizon, the Strategic Plan will act as something of a bridge. As part of that plan, the museum debuted its first vision statement, which De Bode Olivié said sounds very impressive.

“It basically means we really want to be a centeer of learning and gathering and inspiring creativity through community participation,” she said.

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