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

The programs for 2020 are:  

January 19 2:00 p.m. 

Jane Addams: A Force for Families 

Presented by Helen Lewis 

Jane Addams (1860-1935) worked her entire adult life to strengthen families.  Keeping families and children central at her settlement house in Chicago, Addams provided classes in industrial skills and the arts and generated family ethnic night to preserve pride in family heritage among naturalized Americans.  Addams participated actively in such causes as child labor legislation, woman suffrage, and international peace, all for the sake of improving children’s welfare through supporting healthy families.    Come meet this amazing woman as Helen Lewis portrays Jane Addams. *Humanities Iowa Speaker

February 9 2:00 p.m. 

Copper Discoveries on Isle Royale National Park 

Presented by Megan Stroh Messerole

In 2019, the archaeologist of the Sanford Museum, teamed up with Isle Royale National Park to investigate 4000 year old archaeological sites. These were once places where people would mine native copper and transform it into tools like knives and harpoons. Learn how archaeologists use new technology to locate and better understand these sites!

March 8 2:00 p.m. 

Sustaining the Land – What Iowa Farmers are Doing to Protect our Resources 

Presented by Joel DeJong 

Joel DeJong, ISU Extension Field Agronomist, will discuss practices that are being used to maintain the soil resource we are blessed with in NW Iowa, and newer practices that might help to protect the land even better. Discussion on what we can do to protect the quality of our surface water, and why that is important, will be a part of the presentation.

April 18 7:30 p.m. 

How to Chase Rainbows (and other obscure skills of a traveling photographer)

Presented by Christian Begeman 

Come and enjoy Begeman’s passion for photography as well as storytelling as he shares skills he’s learned from chasing weather imagery and some skills he has yet to master. Begeman, a regular contributor to South Dakota Magazines will show and discuss storm imagery as well as other scenes found along the lesser travelled roads. The Isabel, S.D., native will share his favorite images of mother nature’s fury and beauty.


August 11  10:00 p.m.

Meteors and a Movie! 10:00p.m. 

Cherokee Little League Fields

Come join us for an outdoor space movie under a sky filled with meteors! The Perseids is one of the best meteor showers to observe, producing up to 60 meteors per hour. We will have popcorn and a movie to watch as we keep an eye out for meteors. Our telescopes will be focused on a variety of space objects as well, weather permitting. Bring lawn chairs and bug spray and come join us! (In case of cloudy or rainy weather, come to the museum and we will watch the movie anyway!)

September 12  7:30 p.m.

Iowa’s Cultural Kaleidoscope

Presented by Dr. Phil Webber 

Like a kaleidoscope with its ever-changing patterns of the same shapes and colors, Iowa’s ethic history displays a variety of ways that new groups have dealt with the recurrent elements of immigration, settlement, assimilation, and the desire to make a unique contribution to the state’s cultural legacy. This richly illustrated presentation traces the experience of a number of groups, including native Americans, those who arrived with the influx of the 1800’s when Iowa actively recruited foreign labor, twentieth-century arrivals, and the newest residents of our state.*Humanities Iowa speaker

October 10 7:30 p.m. 

Story Telling Contest 

Organized by Tyler Hahn 

Our storytellers this evening will explore the theme, "Fall Follies”, with humor and heart. Stories have been submitted to the museum for review and then selected based on fit to theme and awarded prize money. The prize winning storytellers will share their stories this evening. Come join us for a great evening of fun stories.

November 14 7:30 p.m. 

Drone Photographs Above Our World 

Presented by Tom Gustafson 

Come be fascinated and see your world from a completely new perspective. You will see drone photographs of various parts of our world from different elevations that will truly captivate your senses. Tom will present images from Italy, Switzerland, Florida, Palm Springs California, Okoboji Iowa, Clear Lake Iowa, Lake Minnetonka Minnesota, and possibly more!

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