FCMoD Squad: Year Two Applications are open

We are just finishing up our inaugural year of FCMoD Squad. For the past nine months, FCMoD Squad members worked with our FCMoD Squad Leadership Team to get involved in the music community.

We are starting our second year this summer, and we’d love for individuals between 15 and 19 years old to consider taking part.

If you love music, and want skills in leadership, public speaking, and collaborating with like-minded folks, fill out our application up until July 11. Jam sessions are highly encouraged.

Read on to learn more about FCMoD Squad.

So, what is FCMoD Squad?

One of the best things in town. Really.

The FCMoD Squad is a youth advisory board consisting of individuals from across the Front Range. The FCMoD Squad ranges in ages from 15-19 and meet twice a month at the museum for a 9 month period. In that time, they actively engage the community in a variety of ways, including reviewing and judging entries for local music competitions and events, touring world class studios, participating in college level presentations and discussions, emceeing stages at concerts, and much more.

The purpose of FCMoD Squad is to provide hands on experience and education pertaining to the local music community as well as represent the voice and influence of our emerging youth.

Who are the FCMod Squad?

The FCMoD Squad are individuals between the ages of 15 and 19 who are interested in becoming more involved within Fort Collins Museum of Discovery and their community.  By participating in FCMoD Squad, you are dedicated, open to learn, and participate fairly. Most of all, you are open to positive new experiences to learn from and pass on.

FCMoD Squad members will: 

  • Actively provide insight into current and future museum exhibits, programs, and events
  • Participate in outings with other community groups and organizations
  • Work behind the scenes in music events such as Sonic Spotlight and FoCoMX
  • Members will serve a total of nine months from August to April, with a maximum of two terms

Responsibilities of a FCMoD Squad Member:  

  • You’ll attend meetings twice monthly from 6 – 8 p.m. at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
  • You’ll work on monthly activities guided by our FCMoD Squad Leadership Team
  • You’ll actively engage and contribute in meetings and activities
  • You’ll embody Fort Collins Museum of Discovery’s Mission and Vision 
    • Mission: The museum creates meaningful opportunities to learn, reflect, and have fun through hands-on and collections-based explorations in science and culture
    • Vision: To inspire inquisitive thinkers and encourage responsible stewardship of the future 

How do I apply?
Go right here.

Questions?
Email Nick Duarte our Senior Manager, Museum Engagement.

Thank you for considering FCMoD Squad.

We can’t wait to get started.

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Getting to know our Archive and Collections

Have you paid a visit to our Archive and Collections recently?

The Archive and Collections team is made up of a dedicated seven person team whose work keeps the stories of Fort Collins and the Front Range alive. Tasked with making discoveries every day, many of the tens of thousands of items housed at the museum come right from our community.

Recently, we caught up with Linda Moore, our Curator of Collections, to talk about what is going on at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery’s Archive and Collections.

Our Archive and Collections team is a regional touchpoint, connecting us to the past, and we love having them here. If you have questions for Archives and Collections, you can connect with them in a number of ways.

Hi Linda, can you give us an idea as to how much has been collected recently?

Linda: In 2021, we received 240 object donations, including 16 objects specific to the COVID-19 pandemic. We put together a website with a sampling of images of new donations.

What are the highlights from the recent collections efforts?

Other than objects that continue to come in representing the current and recently past COVID-19 pandemic, we received a large donation of T-shirts and pint glasses representing the Downtown Business Association’s evolving celebration of local brewing over the past 27 years or so. We received some timely objects from the presidential campaigns of 2020 and we also received handmade textiles created by local women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

What is one of the most unique donations requests you’ve received?

We recently received a music writer – it is a typewriter that types musical notation. It’s about 50 years old and it helped automate music writing back in the day. It’s really special to be put in touch with objects like this.

How did it come about?

One of the inventors of it was in the Colorado State University music department and it came to us via that person.

That’s really interesting. How much of the collections come directly from the community like that?

We respond to Fort Collins community members’ offers of items to be donated. Occasionally we make a call-out to the community via social media for objects related to specific themes, like our recent request for objects and experiences related to the pandemic and actions in support of social justice. When we develop in-house exhibits we issue a call out for relevant objects our current collections lack.

The Archive and Collections has a great Facebook page, and your Wednesday “Hum? Ump Day Artifact” spotlight is a lot fun. Do you have a favorite Weekly “Huh? Ump Day Artifact?”

We love putting this page together. Sharing the artifacts out really allows us to get to know the people and places of Fort Collins in a really interesting way.

I personally really connect with the artwork made my Alice and Helen Dickerson. Just looking at their art makes me feel like we would have gotten along well. They are sisters and one of them makes pine needle baskets and the other one paints them.

Alice and Helen Dickerson were sisters born at the beginning of the 20th century who lived their lives together in a rustic and isolated cabin in Buckhorn Canyon. Both spent the winters making crafts which they sold at their store located in the canyon. Helen wove pine needle baskets, carved wood, designed jewelry, and crafted items using bits and pieces from nature. Alice especially enjoyed painting, which she did on nearly every surface imaginable—including many of Helen’s baskets. Origin Place Masonville, CO
Alice and Helen Dickerson were early twentieth century artists who painted pine needle baskets, carved wood, designed jewelry, and crafted items using bits and pieces from nature.

What is one of your favorite places in the museum besides Archive and Collections?

The café! There are always interesting folks and things going on in there. It’s where we end up doing our pop up crafts time to time, and it’s a great place to hang out.

Earlier this year you presented at the Bold Women, Change History symposium at History Colorado museum. Can you talk about that?

It was attended by a really diverse set of presenters, with people ranging from professional writers and historians to graduate students presenting at their first conference, on subjects as diverse as women’s travel clubs in the 1920s to a comprehensive history of access to birth control in America. The Archives and Collections team all went and we presented on themes from our collection on women’s history. It was fascinating – we learned so much and got great feedback on our presentations as well.

My presentation was about one of our larger object collections: the artwork and ephemera of local textile artist, Dorothy Udall. Her story is an inspiring demonstration of how object collections can be used to access histories that are underrepresented in our community’s written historical records.

Dorothy Udall in her printing studio.

I have to ask: do you believe bold women can change history?

Certainly, but I’d like to answer with a yes and no. The reason I say that is some of my favorite research and collections discoveries uncover people who were quiet and lived their lives in the way that were important to them. They didn’t make a huge splash, but they certainly made contributions.

What else has Archive and Collections done in the past year that you are proud of?

We love being involved with schools in our area, and we were excited to host classes from Compass Charter School while working on History Day entries in Collections. We also hosted a visit with Roots and Wings Preschool students with activities about collections and curation. We visited the resulting Shell Museum they created in their classroom. It was so lovely.

We’ve also recently received a $5,000 grant from the International Questers to support the conservation of a Northern Arapahoe-painted bison hide recently donated to the Object Collections. This is really special to all of our communities.

And in our continued work to spotlight community members, we create a video about Betty Herrmann, a major donor and volunteer to the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery Object Collections and elsewhere in the museum since the 1980s.


We also work to participate in the Día Los Muertos Celebration. In keeping with the spirit of the Celebration, I created an altar honoring my father.

Please look for the next Día Los Muertos Celebrating in the fall!

Finally, how can the community get involved in the collections?

Visit our galleries to view the many collections objects that make up our exhibits. You can always contact me to arrange a visit to Collections or to do research on a particular object or theme. It’s free.

As always, take a look through our online database of over 38,000 objects, available at https://history.fcgov.com/.

And you can always volunteer to help process donated objects and add them to our historic collections.

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Endangered Species Day Events

Endangered Species Day takes place on May 20 this year, and on Saturday, May 21 you’ll be able to explore the meaning of the day at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.  Partners from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, City of Fort Collins Naturals Areas , and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center will be on hand to share their recovery efforts for one of the most endangered mammals in North America: the black-footed ferret. 

At the event, you’ll meet two live black-footed ferrets, attend a ferret feeding, and see two very special “mama ferrets” who are part of the amazing story of the cloned Elizabeth Ann, who is the first clone of a North American endangered species. Children and adults can make black-footed ferret masks and enjoy the offerings from our partners as well.

The ferret feeding takes place at 11 a.m.

This free event with our partners takes place from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. We look forward to seeing you there. 

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The Neuroscience of Cooperation   

Post written by Jenny Hannifin, Archive Assistant

The Neuroscience of Cooperation     

Back in May 2020 we posted a blog called “The Neuroscience of Discovery.” Based on observations from The Brain in Context (by J.D. Moreno and J. Schulkin), that blog highlighted – in scientific terms – how our brains are wired for discovery and exploration. 

Turns out that our brains are also wired for cooperation and empathy. Here are a few excerpts from the book

  • “Perceiving another’s misfortune, their psychic or literal pain, requires a wide array of both cortical and sub cortical tissue.” (p 53-4)   
  • “Human evolution, like our cultural development, is marked by many neural/cognitive events, but social capabilities [are involved in] most of them.” (p 183)   
  •  “Cooperation is as critical as competition [in science], because we need to learn from one another and to develop new ideas.” (p 192)  

So, what does this mean to you and me? 

It means that humans evolved through expression of social behaviors, and through the integration of those behaviors within the very functioning of our brain.   

It means that adapting socially, and being good at interacting with others, is at the heart of our evolution as a species. 

It means that “although we may think of ourselves as individuals, the truth is that we are designed to work together, revealing our evolutionary drive toward social cooperation and our neurodevelopmental proclivity toward shared decision-making.” (Moreno and Schulkin p 199) 
 
It means that we are wired to cooperate, and to work at understanding each other.   
 
(If you want to learn more about recent developments in neuroscience, here’s a link to The Brain in Context: A Pragmatic Guide to Neuroscience by Jonathan D. Moreno and Jay Schulkin)

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The Museum is Recognized for its Community Support for ISTAR Camp

The Museum is Recognized for its Community Support for ISTAR Camp

We are honored to be recognized as a recipient of the TILT Award for Exceptional Achievement in Service-Learning Community Partner from Colorado State University for ISTAR Camp. 

ISTAR (Indigenous, Science, Technology, Arts and Resiliency) Camp started in 2020 and brings together Native American students and their families to connect with traditional Native technologies, science, and arts. Led by CSU Ethnic Studies Department faculty, student mentors, and community leaders, ISTAR’s culturally responsive programming centers community-identified goals in its curriculum.

Hands-on learning leverages the assets and physical space of the museum as well as the proximity to the Poudre River and Lee Martinez Park. After positive feedback from participants and families, programs now extend throughout the year for families to deepen connections through a variety of culturally-centered gatherings and programs.

ISTAR is a deeply collaborative community effort, and we are honored to play a supportive role. Thank you to all involved. 

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From the Archive – Gems from a Local Diary

By Lesley Struc, Curator of the Archive at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery

I spent some time recently reading Fort Collins local Mary Hottel’s diary from Book I (1901-1906) of the Hottel collection.  Her work shares life experiences that are over 100 years old, giving us a glimpse of what it was like to be the daughter of Fort Collins’ first millionaire.

Her father Benjamin Hottel’s life is quite a story too, but one of starting up. He came to Fort Collins from Virginia in 1877 and worked in milling and developed a sugar factory, later becoming the president of Poudre Valley National Bank.

I only made it about halfway through this first book and found these gems from Mary’s life. They are insightful and humorous all these years later, so I’ve included some of my favorite quotes.

This collection is such a treasure trove, offering a personal look of the life of a very busy woman in Fort Collins at the turn of the 20th century. So far volunteers have scanned five dairies and transcribed seven – there are 14 in all, covering the years of 1901-1925.

The Poudre Valley National Bank, pictured in 1930

Thursday, December 11, 1902

Chick [Charles Davis, her boyfriend at the time] & I strolled downtown, then made fudge on our return – he had an old sweater on and was afraid to come in until the family went away.

Saturday March 21, 1903

Chick & I got in a big crowd at the Columbian musical tonight – The program was fine – Coming home

in the wash – ahem!!

we struck a regular blizzard & nearly froze stiff – Through pure ackwardness, [sic] while making fudge I spilled a lot of it on Chicks coat & felt too cheap for words – Hope it will all come out

Saturday, May 27, 1904

Went to the H.S. Alumni dance at Odd Fellows Hall tonight with Aida Ault & Ethel Avery. There was some sort of a programme first & then during the dance Roy came – So Mary Ann had an escort home – Considering the scarcity of men we had a real good time.

Odd Fellows Block, at 111 East Mountain, circa 1903

Friday, October 13, 1905

This afternoon Warren Bristol called & we had a good chat over old times. Tonight Bob Tedmon & I ploughed through mud & rain galore with  Anna Tedmon & Mr Baker of New York to the college dance at Odd Fellows. Had a corking time & just giggled continually. Lets pray I’ll still have a few more good times before I die.  [Mary was 22 years old at the time of this writing]

Tuesday, November 7, 1905

After I made seven calls this afternoon, Roy stopped in for a long chat & to inform me had to work so hard wouldn’t be down until Sunday. Oh he is the worst tease & his ability  seems to be on the increase Anna Tedmon appeared this noon with an invitation for me to accompany acrowd of ladies to see the play “Wyoming” tonight [at the Opera House]. But upon discovering that the party was to be composed almost entirely of married women, I refused.

The Opera House business block, from 1908

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FoCoMX at the museum

FoCoMX at the museum

FoCoMX has been a landmark event for the Colorado music scene for 13 years, and the weekend of April 22 and 23 is the return of FoCoMX for the first time since 2019. With stages throughout the city, Fort Collins will be a music mecca for all things live and local, and we are pleased to host the most music of the weekend. Fort Collins Museum of Discovery will have three stages of music going throughout the festival, starting with a stellar Live From the Dome lineup on Friday, followed by an entire day and evening of music on Saturday.

Fort Collins Museum of Discovery will play host to several shows live from The Otterbox Digital Dome Theater during FoCoMX.

Here is rundown of all the happenings at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery during FoCoMX. We will have our entire team on board to help craft a wonderful experience for you!

  • Friday, April 22: we are hosting five bands at the OtterBox Digital Dome Theater.
  • Saturday, April 23: five more bands from the Dome, plus six hours of music at our Big Backyard Youth Stage and at an Artist Discovery Stage at Woodward Special Exhibition Gallery.
  • On site: Blast N Scrap will be leading arts projects Saturday in our Big Backyard. Blast N Scrap is a nonprofit organization which supports young and emerging artists with performance and workshop space to help advance social inclusion and environmental sustainability in the arts.
  • On site: Launch Skate will be leading skating demos with the FoCoMX crowd on Saturday. Through skateboarding, Launch Skate helps develop leadership skills through volunteerism and reinforcing meaningful community connections.
  • Ice cream: On Saturday, local favorites Walrus Ice Cream will dish out great treats.
  • Plus, free entry to the museum gallery during performances on Saturday from 2 – 8 p.m.
  • And last but not least, see our very own Nick Duarte at Washington’s on Friday at 5 p.m. with his band Post Paradise and Forrester Tamkun who will lead his band Write Minded at the Aggie Theater for a midnight performance as Saturday night becomes Sunday.

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Fort Collins and the Flu, Part III

Fort Collins and the Flu, Part III

The fall of 1918 was a fearful and exhausting time for the residents of Fort Collins. Worldwide, according to Laura Spinney in Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and how it Changed the World, most of the deaths caused by the “Spanish Flu” happened in just a thirteen-week period from September through December 1918. Government authorities most everywhere were overwhelmed, uninformed and unsure, crippled by nursing shortages, lack of hospital beds and local physicians overburdened with their own patients.

In Fort Collins, doctors were supposed to make daily reports of influenza cases and deaths to city officials so that people like the city physician, Dr. Gooding, and Mayor Fred Stover could make informed policies, but the city and county doctors were too busy tending to ill patients to make those reports (Fort Collins Express, October 23). Ruth Margrave, in an oral history recorded in 1974, recalled that her father, Dr. Wilkin, hired a driver for his car that fall as he “…didn’t drive at all during that flu epidemic. He just slept between calls, between patients.” Besides stress and exhaustion, doctors and nurses were risking exposure to the flu by caring for the sick and at least one Fort Collins doctor, Dr. D’Armond, died from contracting the flu. The Weekly Courier called Dr. D’Armond’s death a “sacrifice to the service of humanity.” (October 24).

A headline from the November 1918 Fort Collins Weekly Courier

There were, of course, other flu deaths in Fort Collins during the fall of 1918. Dr. Lory of the agricultural college, lost many members of his sister’s family, including his three-year-old twin nieces (The Weekly Courier, November 29). Influenza victims often included youths, and people moved to Fort Collins to start school, or parents and professionals in their late twenties and early thirties. The writers on staff at The Weekly Courier were clearly bothered by the death of Miss Marhon Sperry, an operator for the telephone company in town, as seen in their early November column about influenza deaths.

Anna May Abbott, who died April 1, 1919 of pneumonia brought on by influenza.
Anna May Abbott, who died April 1, 1919 of pneumonia brought on by influenza.

Even with all the illness, death, pain, sorrow, and exhaustion that the people of Fort Collins dealt with through the fall and early winter of 1918, the city was relatively lucky when it came to the numbers of those sick and deaths, although perhaps not known at the time. Current twenty-first century estimates for cases during the epidemic have worldwide an average of one in three people got sick with the flu, while somewhere between “2.5 and 5 percent of the global population” died from the illness. (Laura Spinney, p. 4). The numbers in Fort Collins show a much lower death rate.

In his Annual Report at the end of July 1919, Mayor Stover gave that the total number of cases from the influenza epidemic “slightly exceeded 1,500.” (Fort Collins Courier, July 29).  Some 1,100 of those cases happened in October and November of 1918. With a population hovering around 8,500, the infection rate was closer to one in five, rather than one in three. Deaths were also less likely, as Mayor Stover did not bother to provide a number for those who died in his annual report, rather just expressing sorrow at the loss of life that had happened. (A Coloradoan article from April 16, 2020 estimated 150 deaths from the fall and winter.) A caveat- the numbers given for illness and deaths throughout the epidemic in Fort Collins do not often include cases that happened at the agricultural college.

Image: Fort Collins Courier – July 29, 1919
The Fort Collins Courier, from July 29, 1919

Although Fort Collins did have lower infection and death rates throughout the epidemic than other places, the comfort we can see in numbers looking back over a hundred years likely did not exist for those living through the epidemic. Even if residents of Fort Collins understood at the time that their cases numbers were relatively low, numbers, in and of themselves, can do little to override personal experience. Of the oral histories we have in the Archives that mention the 1918 flu, one stands out especially. Interviewed in 1981, Grace Davis recalled that her mother had sent her to check on some neighbors. Grace found the husband so sick that he was unaware that his wife had died in bed next to him. “It was terrible. It was really bad. The 1918 flu.” Grace told the interviewer.

Image: Fort Collins Express – November 4, 1922
Image: Fort Collins Express, from November 4, 1922

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National Beer Day

Post written by Alex Ballou, Marketing Assistant.

National Beer Day

It’s #NationalBeerDay and there is no better place to celebrate this holiday than our home – Fort Collins, Colorado!

History of National Beer Day

National Beer Day is celebrated annually on April 7. This day marks the signing of the Cullen-Harrison Act. The signing of this act led to the 18th Amendment being repealed, with ratification of the 21st Amendment to the constitution. This enactment took the first step toward ending the prohibition. Beer drinkers rejoiced as they were able to purchase beer again for the first time in 13 years!

Beer is now the world’s most widely consumed alcoholic beverage. Following water and tea, it is the third most popular drink overall. This was not a “sour” move to make!

Fun fact: April 6, the day before National Beer Day, is also known as, New Beer’s Eve.

Local Beer History

Fort Collins is sometimes referred to as the “Napa Valley of Beer.” Although alcohol arrived with the first settlers in Fort Collins, prohibition hindered the growth of the industry until 1969.

In 1980, the large beer company, Anheuser Busch, made a bid to open a brewery in the city. It took 8 years to get the city on board for the first brewery in Fort Collins. The plant began construction in 1988. In 1990, Doug Odell opened Odell Brewery Co. Soon after, New Belgium opened in 1991. Other breweries opened soon after these leaders in the industry. Fort Collins was one of the first to latch onto the craft beer movement. By 2010, a new generation of breweries, like Funkwerks & Equinox Brewing, emerged. According to Visit Fort Collins, the city is now home to over 20 local craft breweries!

The craft beer industry, with its emphasis on local breweries, plays a vital role in the communities economy and culture, this goes hand in hand with the outdoor recreation that is popular in Colorado.

How YOU can celebrate!

Celebrate today with a pint of your favorite local brew. Even if you are stuck at home, no worries! You can order beer from your favorite breweries in Fort Collins (please check the preferred brewery website for updated hours and delivery options).

Cheers! ?

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Watch a year of Live From The Dome shows

Watch a year of Live From The Dome shows

For a year, we have hosted musicians throughout the area to perform Live From The Dome at The Otterbox Digital Dome Theater. Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is proud to give musicians a space to play – with shows highlighting our diverse music and arts scene. 

Our Live From The Dome playlists highlights a year of music at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.

Over the past year, we have featured musicians from so many genres, including:

More Than Physics: The Fort Collins band combines acoustic instrumentation with Handpan and Tabla drumming, all enhanced by stunning visuals in this performance.

Kuza: A South African born artist, Kuza is influenced by Avante-Pop, Trip-Hop, Electronic Music, and Spiritual styles.

Sara Slaton and the Great Perhaps: An Arkansas native, Sara Slaton taught herself to play guitar in the shadow of the Ozarks before she founding – and fronting – the Colorado trio, Edison, earning accolades far and wide.

SAMBOYGER: SAMBOYGER, based in Aurora, blends pop, alternative rock and electronica, recently releasing an EP, We Peaked @17.

Liz Barnez: The Colorado Music Hall of Fame member moved to Colorado in the late 1980’s and has been a mainstay in that music community since then. Her Live From the Dome performance is an intimate treat, showcasing her diverse talent as an artist and songwriter.

Miranda Fling: Miranda Fling is the inaugural Sonic Spotlight winner, celebrating the best young talent in Colorado music, and pulls inspiration from indie, pop, and folk music.

Cary Morin: A mainstay of local and national music scenes, Cary Morin crafts an inimitable combination of blues, bluegrass, jazz, jam, reggae, and dance.

Frail Talk: Frail Talk’s debut indie-folk album, New Creation Myths, springs up from the dirt with spiraling growth, ready to welcome every listener with daydream-love.

Hannah Rodriguez: Hannah Rodriguez’s soulful vocals and jazz-influenced musicianship is raising her profile as one of the young talents to watch in the community.

Miguel Aviña: Best known as the lead singer and guitarist of the band iZCALLi, Miquel Aviña is rightly known as one of the key artists of the Rock En Tu Idioma (RETI) movement in Colorado.

Kid Astronaut: Drawing inspiration from multi-dimensional world of Marvel Comics, Denver’s Kid Astronaut builds a universe of music, film, and art that is all his own.

Companion: The Fort Collins based duo of identical twin sisters Sophia and Jo Babb take a nuanced approach to songwriting that feels at once lighthearted and weighted with palpable empathy.

Live From The Dome is made possible through the generosity of the Bohemian Foundation.

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