Rio Grande County Museum raises funds for future programs

Photos by Lyndsie Ferrell The Rio Grande County Museum hosted its grand reopening celebration on Friday, June 24, and raised funds for events and educational programs. Artist Martha Kennedy read several poems about her journey to and around the San Luis Valley and refreshments were provided by Basecamp Sweets out of South Fork.

DEL NORTE — The Rio Grande County Museum welcomed over 50 patrons to the museum for its grand reopening event on Friday, June 24, and raised $1,200 to help fund future events and educational programs. The evening was considered a success and one the museum hopes to repeat.

In celebration of Del Norte’s 150th anniversary, the museum featured over 400 photographs from their archived collection reprinted and displayed on tapestries that hung along the walls of the main museum.

The photographs told the silent tales of the people who helped make Del Norte and Rio Grande County what it is today with photos dating back as far as 1872.

“It was really fun to make the tapestries and the community will be able to enjoy them for years to come,” said Rio Grande County Museum Director Lyndsie Ferrell.

The evening started with a reading by local poet, author and painter Martha Kennedy who shared the journey she took that brought her back to the San Luis Valley. Her poems included the travels of worn-out boots and animal companions she had along her way. Kennedy spent the rest of the evening talking with guests.

Local artist and owner of Banner Art Studio Mettje Swift set up colorful flags outside the museum to draw people inside. Patrons wandered in and out throughout the evening bringing with them tales of the past and of a town they knew as they grew up in the San Luis Valley. The local history shared during the event made the night special. 

“We just want to thank all of our generous donors, patrons, county officials and staff and the 501c3 board for their support. None of this would have been possible if not for the dedication this county has to the museum. A huge thank you goes out to all who helped make this possible and we can’t wait to see what we can do next,” said Ferrell.

The funds will be used to plan for more events, beginning with the coming Covered Wagon Days Ice Cream Social and SLV Quilt Show. The two events coincide with a day full of fun during the first weekend in August.

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