Dec. 10, 2004
It's a win-win situation for the Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission and HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College. The Commission has been entertaining proposals for an external group to operate the gift shop at the State Museum of Pennsylvania. HACC has been seeking an outlet for the high-end crafts produced by students of its Contemporary Crafts Marketing program. Now, the two will enter into a partnership that satisfies both organizations' goals.

HACC will operate the gift shop, which will serve as a sales outlet for merchandise produced by HACC crafts artisans as well as select items recruited for consignment sales from the HACC Crafts program and artisans from the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, all in keeping with the Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission's mission to represent Pennsylvania state interests, artists and crafts. Many of HACC students are members of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen.

Manufactured souvenir items reflecting the Museum's collections and the Commonwealth will also be available for the gift shop, such as the ever-popular rubber snakes, river rocks, space ice cream and other items typically bought by children on field trips, as well as books on the Commonwealth.

Contemporary Crafts Marketing is an associate degree program at HACC. In an apprenticeship environment, students learn to design, produce and market contemporary crafts in wholesale and retail markets. "The products produced by HACC artisans for the Museum's gift shop will be quality but affordable jewelry, ceramics and glass items," said Linda Lefevre, HACC associate dean, Business Engineering & Technologies and Workforce & Economic Development Divisions, who helped develop the proposal and will oversee the partnership with the Museum.

The partnership will provide HACC Crafts Marketing and Entrepreneurial students an opportunity to experience and participate in the actual operation of a museum store and gallery including the business plan annual process development, market identification and analysis, production identification and planning, exhibit steering, committee dynamics, operational profit and loss analysis, and retail sales.

In addition to becoming self-supporting, the operation intends to generate a HACC Foundation award/scholarship where a percentage of the proceeds are committed to an endowment fund for scholarships, while additional percentages are awarded as scholarships and/or awards.

The gift shop will be located in the Pennsylvania State Museum ground floor former Museum Shop location. The new shop has not yet been named; the opening is scheduled for this spring.

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