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Social Justice and Community Collaboration at the Renton History Museum

Community Thrift Store 4Culture has included a guest post on their blog regarding our newest exhibit, Sorting Out Race, debuting  on  March 30, 2017. Elizabeth Stewart, Director, Sarah Samson, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, and  Kim  Owens, Public Engagement Coordinator, gave insight into the preparations for this traveling exhibit.  See the  entire article by clicking here.

Museum Director Receives Public Spirit AwardPublic Spirit Award

Museum Director Elizabeth P. Stewart was inducted into the Renton Community Foundation's League of Extraordinary Givers on February 16, 2017 when she received their annual Public Spirit Award. The award recognizes Dr. Stewart's commitment to fostering partnerships that strengthen heritage and art in Renton and South King County. In addition to her duties as Director of the Renton History Museum, Dr. Stewart has served on the Renton FilmFrenzy Host Committee, the Georgetown Steam Plant Advisory Committee, and the 4Culture Heritage Advisory Committee. She is currently the vice president of the Washington Museum Association and a member of the Small Museum Committee for the Association of State and Local History.  

Museum Unveils New Duwamish Exhibit

Duwamish exhibit

 Thanks to a grant from 4Culture, the Renton History Museum has completely revised its permanent  exhibit section on the Duwamish Native Americans, Renton's First People. People of the Inside traces  the history of the Duwamish people living, working, and trading in the Renton area long before White  settlers arrived. The exhibit focuses on the Moses family, Renton's best-known Duwamish residents,  and displays several never-before-exhibited objects. It is designed to be an introduction to the  Duwamish people in Renton, after which we hope many visitors will enjoy the Duwamish Long House  and Cultural Center in South Seattle. 

Museum Named Best Nonprofit in RentonRibbon

The Renton History Museum recently had the distinction of being named "Best Nonprofit 2016" in the Renton Reporter's Best of Renton 2016 competition. Winners were selected through an online nomination and voting process that reached out to readers of Renton's local newspaper. Past winners have included the Salvation Army, BECU, and YWCA South King County. We are very excited to have been recognized by Renton residents for the excellence of our community service. We believe the award is also a vote for the importance of heritage preservation and education in our community, and we'll continue to strive to live up to Rentonites' expectations. 

Renton History Museum Awarded a Building for Culture Grant  

Photo by Christina DePaolo

In November 2015 the Museum received a grant of $20,500 for a much-anticipated renovation of our Museum lobby. Combined with an allocation from Renton City Council, this grant enables the Museum to create a more logical, safe, attractive, and educational introduction to Renton’s rich history. The Museum was among 100 King County arts and heritage organizations that shared in an extraordinary $28M investment in cultural facilities. "A vibrant arts and cultural community is a hallmark of King County, something we are well known for nationally. The arts generate significant economic activity, provide a high quality of life for residents, inspire learning opportunities for youth, and attracts tourists," said King County Council Chair Larry Phillips at the bill-signing. "Through support of our arts and heritage organizations, we recognize the important role that these cultural experiences have in strengthening communities and developing young minds." This Building for Culture grant will make possible our first major renovation since Fire Station #1 was converted to a museum over 30 years ago.

The F. W. Woolworth’s Building Now a National Historic Site


The Woolworth's Building - formerly Renton Western Wear - located at 724 S. Third St. in Downtown Renton is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The new building owners worked with the City of Renton and a consultant to complete the nomination in mid-2015; staff of the Renton History Museum provided research and photos to help document its historical significance. The building has also been added to the Washington State Register, making it the fifth Renton-area historic site. The Woolworth's building opened in 1954 as the first fully self-service Woolworth's in Washington State, and quickly became a significant commercial fixture of Downtown Renton.

For more information on listing your historic building, go to this page.


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