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West Plains Chamber of Commerce December Member of the Month SpotLight
Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture
Donning a bow tie,
Forrest Rodgers,
Executive Director
of the Northwest
Museum of Arts
& Culture (MAC),
proclaims “I’m a
Westerner trapped
in an Easterner’s
clothing.” Hailing from the East
Coast (born in
New Jersey and raised in Massachusetts) this is his
second stint presiding over a region’s cultural and
artistic treasures. The room where we met with
Mr. Rodgers was prepped and ready for a troop of
kids that would the next day be engaged in interactive displays intent on creating a new generation
Mr. Rodgers asked us: “Did you know Spokane was at the
center of the Cuban Missile Crisis?” This was going to be a
fun interview!
With 10,000 visitors per year from ages K-12, the MAC has
a responsibility to interpret our entire region. From exploring the story of Spokane through our beginnings in mining
and the railroads, to the rich cultures of the tribes of the
Northern Plateau to celebrating our renowned artists,
Rodgers acknowledges the MAC’s role in creating learning
experiences to better understand where we call home.
If someone walked into the MAC for the irst time, their
reaction would most likely be: “Wow! And why have
I never been here before?”. This state-of-the-art facility immediately transforms your thoughts into our deep
history and often times untold stories. Impressively, the
MAC has the world’s largest and most pre-eminent collection of Northern Plateau culture. This facility is here to
help the tribes tell their
story, continuing their
tradition of transmitting their culture from
generation to generation. But it’s equally
important for everyone
to know this story as
Rodgers states “One
goal at the MAC is to
March 2013
to non
goes on
to explain
that what
differentiates the MAC is that it has an art focus, especially
art that is speci ic to our region. The MAC is THE
art museum for this region, supporting and commissioning local artists. The MAC helps facilitate
renting (and purchasing) works for businesses to
display. This can be done on a three month revolving basis, a popular way for business to support
local artists and differentiate themselves in the
community it serves.
Did you know that Spokane has one of the largest populations (per capita) of non-reservation Indians? The MAC
strives to highlight the Spokane region’s con luence of
After making our way through the new exhibit: “Spokane
Modern Architecture”,
highlighting the 25year period between
1948 and 1973 that
saw an unrivaled burst
of architectural creativity in Spokane, we
ind ourselves back
to the entrance, near
the enticing gift shop.
Rodgers reminds us
how important it is to
bring in young people
and families because it is our responsibility to teach, learn
and appreciate what our region has produced. Before we
leave (with a new memberships to the MAC in hand) he
says, “This museum is a hidden treasure and the best thing
we can do is let people know, we are here.”
For more info on the MAC’s exhibits and programs,
historic Campbell House and the self-guided Browne’s
Addition Walking Tour, visit
West Plains Chamber of Commerce * 504 1st Street * Cheney, Washington 99004 * 509.747.8480 *