Museum of History and Industry Programs
MOHAI creates and presents award-winning exhibits that explore local and national history, inviting visitors to discover how the past impacts our present and future. MOHAI's core exhibit, True Northwest: The Seattle Journey examines the growth of our region from wilderness to world city, while MOHAI’s Bezos Center for Innovation engages visitors of all ages in the history and culture of innovation in our region.
MOHAI hosts national travelling exhibits from museums across the country, recently including Chocolate: The Exhibition from the Field Museum in Chicago and, currently, American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Curators and designers at MOHAI also build locally-focused temporary exhibits, such as Celluloid Seattle: A City at the Movies, Drawn to Seattle: The Work of Seattle Sketcher Gabriel Campanario, and Revealing Queer, a landmark display exploring how the Puget Sound LGBTQ community has grown, changed, and worked towards equality. In Fall 2015, MOHAI will debut Edible City: A Delicious Journey, which will serve up the story of how Seattleites eat and how our urban palate has developed over the years.
Anchoring these exhibits are artifacts and images from MOHAI's extensive permanent collection, including more than three million photographs, over 100,000 3-D artifacts, and an archive of 200,000 items such as ephemera and oral histories. The collections provide an invaluable resource to researchers interested in the rich past of Seattle and the Puget Sound.
MOHAI's education programs served more than 35,000 K-12 students and teachers last year. MOHAI works with area teachers to ensure all programs are aligned with state learning standards and are easily integrated with lesson plans. Through museum-based and in classroom programs, MOHAI provides hands-on experiences for students that connect what they learn in the classroom with artifacts and stories from our past. MOHAI ensures that all students regardless of means can participate by providing scholarships and subsidizing bus transportation. For youth 14 and younger admission is free.
Reaching out to the community, MOHAI offers a wide range of public programs focused on adult learning. From pub trivia nights to curator lectures, MOHAI makes history accessible and fun for people across the region.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
On December 29, 2012 MOHAI opened an entirely reimagined museum in the historic Naval Reserve Armory in Lake Union Park. Since that date, more than 400,000 visitors have learned about Seattle's past, and deepened their commitment to Seattle's future.
We have expanded our education programs to include early learning with miniMOHAI, a program that transforms the museum into an engaging play space for kids with six interactive stations that offer stories, dramatic play, and math and pattern activities. New school programs include Salish Stories, where students listen to stories, look at historic photographs and handle artifacts crafted by local artists to discover the culture, history, and language of our region's first peoples. The award-winning Significance of Salmon program is a hands-on program where students investigate the important role of salmon in the Pacific Northwest by exploring the history of salmon as a resource and the stewardship of salmon populations today.
One of our current needs is to fully fund our scholarship program, in which qualifying schools receive discounted program fees and assistance in paying for bus transportation so that all classrooms have the opportunity to be a part of the MOHAI experience.