Portfolio | Museum
The Date Museum
COACHELLA VALLEY HISTORICAL MUSEUM
We were hired by the Coachella Valley Historical Museum to concept the new Date Museum in the newly renovated school building and gymnasium. The concepts would help define the vision and fundraising efforts to tell the story of date cultivation and the community impact in Coachella Valley since the turn of the century.
Working with the museum director, we reviewed the collections, researched the regions agricultural beginnings and date history. Understanding the desire of this local museum to reach a broader audience, our greatest challenge was to create engaging exhibits themes that connect to visitors' interests beyond this small agricultural community.
Locating the museum within a spacious gymnasium gave a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of the 30' high ceilings. We envisioned a dramatic agricultural experience for the visitor who has never toured a grove. We would place (an artificial) date palm grove inside with workers pollinating and harvesting the fruit. Hanging banners and bold graphics would bring visitors along each step in the cultivation, processing and retailing steps.
The key to engaging visitor interest, curiosity and enthusiasm was to connect the date story with a broader cultural story. Date cultivation is ancient and the earliest recorded evidence dates back to the cradles of civilization, the Middle East, Sumerian and Egyptian cultures. We would design an impactful entry exhibit that introduces its ancient beginnings and ties the story to Coachella Valley.