Sanford Museum Association
The Sanford Museum Association is an organization of volunteers who contribute
time and money to enrich the offerings of the Sanford Museum and Planetarium.Working in cooperation with museum staff, the association hosts exhibits, lectures,
and demonstrations, sponsors programs of research, and purchases museum
equipment and library books. The association also sponsors several programs each year.

To find out about becoming a Sanford Museum Association member, E-mail us at
sanfordmuseum@sanfordmuseum.orgThe programs for 2017 are:  

January 14, Saturday - 7:30 p.m.
Cherokee from 1956 Forward with Joan Ballantyne Cherokee celebrated its centennial in 1956.  By that time the town was a growing progressive community.  What changes have been made in the town since 1956? Come and listen to Joan’s eye-witness report of Cherokee’s journey from 1956 until now.

February 11, Saturday - 7:30 p.m.
Cuba with Deb Hankens Located only 90 miles off the Florida coast, Cuba has been off limits to the United States for more than 50 years. The past few years have seen a warming of relations between the two nations which allowed an alumni group from Dakota State University to travel to Cuba last June. Recent events, including the death Fidel Castro has pushed Cuba once more into the forefront. Deb Hankens will share her experiences and insights concerning this controversial island.

March 11, Saturday - 7:30 p.m.
The Devil has my Consent:  The Real Story behind the Salem Witch Trials, 1692-1693 with Kathy Wilson In 1692 more than 200 people were accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts; 20 were executed.  Why? What happened to create such hysteria? Were the accusers possessed?  Experiencing delusions caused by eating spoiled grain? Discover the real story behind the Salem Witch Trials, and what it reveals about Colonial American society in the late 17th century.

April 8, Saturday - 7:30 p.m.
* Walt Whitman Live!! with William Koch
Walt Whitman is portrayed by Dr. Bill Koch, adjunct professor at the University of Northern Iowa.  Dr. Koch will highlight major poems from Whitman’s collection Leaves of Grass, published in 1855.  In addition, he will read Whitman’s tribute to Abraham Lincoln, after the Lincoln assassination, with a description of the nation’s obsequies, and recitations of the Gettysburg Address and “O Captain, My Captain.”

August 12, Saturday - 9:00 p.m.
Meteors and a Movie Join us for the Perseid Meteor Shower and watch a great movie too!  The Perseid is one of the best meteor showers of the year and this year the moon will be a crescent so the night sky should be dark to view the meteors.  So come to the high school baseball field and enjoy some popcorn, a great movie and a beautiful meteor shower.  Bring your lawn chairs and bug spray!

September 9, Saturday - 7:30 p.m.
*Tent Repertoire, Circle Stock, Airdomes and Opera Houses: Gone but not Forgotten with Richard Poole Richard Poole is a Fullbright Scholar and his illustrated lecture details the incredible amount of theatre available to rural and small-town Midwest Americans between 1870 and 1940. By 1927, approximately 76 million people were entertained by roughly 400 traveling tent rep troupes. Audiences also witnessed many performances in other venues, such as opera houses, airdomes and circle stock. Basically the history of American theatre is the history of urban theatre. Rural theatre culture, featuring tent theatre, opera houses, airdomes and circle stock, has been marginalized or excluded altogether. This fascinating lecture fills that void and is not just for theatre buffs or even scholars but for all interested in American culture, especially rural theatre culture.

October 14, Saturday - 7:30 p.m.
The Homestead Act and the Plains Tribes with Nancy Gillis Opening the Great Plains to settlement had far-reaching impacts on the Native tribes, both positive and negative. This program explores the changes in political and economic structures, gender roles, spiritual ways, and other cultural components both in the years prior to and following pivotal pieces of legislation in 1862 - the Homestead Act, the Transcontinental Railroad Act, and the Morrill Land Grant Act.

November 4, Saturday - 7:30 p.m.
Songwriting Symposium with J. Jeffrey Messerole
Award-winning Americana songwriter, and Cherokee resident, J. Jeffrey Messerole will provide insight into the life of a working songwriter. Messerole will open with a discussion about his history in the art, his methods, and his inspirations in the industry. Upon completion of the discussion, Messerole will open the floor for questions and songwriting critiques for anyone that would like to have their work examined. J. Jeffrey will finish the evening with a short performance of his work. J. Jeffrey Messerole tours throughout the Midwest, and preforms over 50 shows a year. Messerole is a 2 time award winner for his albums "Kingsnake's Bite" and "Halfway Home"
* Humanities Iowa Program

To find out about becoming a Sanford Museum Association member, E-mail us at