Celebrating Grand Opening of People of the Waters

Ribbon cutting ceremony is on Tuesday, September 5, starting at 10:00 a.m.

The highly anticipated official grand opening of the new People of the Waters exhibition at the Oshkosh Public Museum is on Tuesday, September 5. Celebrations continue throughout September and October with a special series of weekly programs.

The official ribbon cutting ceremony for People of the Waters will begin at 10:00 a.m. on September 5, with a special invocation by Mike Hoffman, Cultural Advisor and Consultant to the Menominee Clans Story at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. Museum Director Brad Larson will lead a guided tour of the exhibition at 11:00 a.m., and staff and volunteers will be on hand to offer tours throughout the day.

This new long-term state-of-the-art exhibit is the culmination of over four years of research and more than a year of construction. It explores the richness of prehistoric and early life in Oshkosh and the surrounding Lake Winnebago region that spans 13,000 years. The key storyline and interpretive elements for this cutting edge experience were selected based on feedback from members, teacher focus groups, and the community.

Survey results indicated that fully 65% of respondents ranked a Native American exhibit as their number one choice. People of the Waters links directly to the educational goals of Wisconsin Act 31, which focuses on the study of the Ice Age, Native American cultures, and the impact of the Fur Trade, providing enriching field trip opportunities that align with and enhance classroom instruction.

Visitors can discover how massive sheets of ice, up to two miles high, gouged and transformed the landscape from prehistoric times to what we see today. A dynamic forty-foot long glass wall showcases an impressive array of artifacts that represents history from Paleoindians through the Fur Trade.

Artifacts left behind help archaeologists determine how people lived. Visitors can uncover the past in a walk-over archaeological dig site, explore a full-size recreated Oneota longhouse from 1,000 years ago to learn about daily life in a Native village, and find out how early people used the region’s diverse natural resources.

An innovative proprietary Trap and Trade game allows visitors an opportunity to experience first-hand how trading occurred. Discover the history of trade, dating back thousands of years, and how materials and goods from around the world made their way to and from Oshkosh. The trade game can be played in the gallery, or play it online at oshkoshmuseum.org, or download the free app available from the iTunes Store.

The Museum is pleased to present a special weekly program series every Saturday starting at 1:00 p.m. from September 9 through October 21, sponsored by Nevitt Law Office. On September 9, Dr. William Mode, Professor and Chair of the Department of Geology at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, will present on the Ice Age History of the Fox River Valley Region. This event is included with general admission. Find more details and the complete list of events at oshkoshmuseum.org.

The Voices of Native American Art – Telling Our Story exhibition is currently on display at the Museum through October 8. The perfect complement to mark the grand opening of People of the Waters, this exhibition features a broad variety of original, fine and contemporary Native American Art from living Native artists who are members and descendants of different Native American Nations.

The Oshkosh Public Museum is located at 1331 Algoma Boulevard in Oshkosh. Regular hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information about the Museum’s exciting events and exhibitions, visit oshkoshmuseum.org, call 920.236.5799 or email museum@ci.oshkosh.wi.us.

About the Oshkosh Public Museum:
The Oshkosh Public Museum is a non-profit regional history museum, an amazing resource for research and discovery of Oshkosh and the Lake Winnebago region, entrusted with the care of more than 300,000 collections and historical documents representing the history, culture and heritage of the region. The Museum is nationally accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places. The Museum is operated for the public good in part through City of Oshkosh tax levy funding, but a significant portion of annual funding must be raised through donations and fees, including admissions and membership support. Housed in the historic Sawyer home since 1924, the Museum brings history to life through quality exhibitions, special programs and publications, and engaging guests in ways that inspire discovery.