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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 1999

Governor Honors Ethnic Heritage Museums

CHICAGO -- Governor George H. Ryan proclaimed November 19, 1999 as Ethnic Museum Day in Illinois in recognition of the vital role that museums play in promoting ethnic heritage.

"Heritage museums across Illinois are to be commended for their commitment to preserving and promoting ethnic heritage, tradition and culture," Ryan said.

In celebration of Ethnic Museum Day, the Governor invited more than 30 heritage museums to display exhibits at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago.

"Showcasing the many exhibits in one place and at one time will provide people with a glimpse into the many cultures that comprise Illinois," said Ryan. "It is my hope that people will visit the museums with their friends and families to learn more."

Attached is a list of the names of the participating museums and a copy of the proclamation.

PARTICIPANTS IN ETHNIC MUSEUMS AND PERMANENT CULTURAL DISPLAYS NOVEMBER 19, 1999

African American
DuSable Museum of African American History, Chicago

Robbins Historical Society, Robbins

African American Hall of Fame Museum, Peoria

Assyrian
Mesopotamia Museum, Chicago

Assyrian Heritage Museum and Cultural Center, Chicago

Croatian
Croatian Ethnic Institute, Chicago

Czech
American Sokol Archives and Museum, Berwyn

Czechoslovak Heritage Museum, Berwyn

Dutch
South Holland Historical Society Museum, South Holland

German
American Aid Society of German Descendants, Lake Villa

Society of the Danube Swabians Museum, Des Plaines

Greek
Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center, Chicago

Irish
Irish American Heritage Center, Chicago

Italian
Italian Cultural Center Library and Museum, Stone Park

Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, Chicago

National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, Elk Grove Village

Latvian
Latvian Folk Art Museum, Chicago

Lithuanian
Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, Chicago

Moravian-Czech
United Moravian Societies Museum, Berwyn

Latino
Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, Chicago

Native American
American Indian Center, Chicago

Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville

Mitchell Indian Museum, Evanston

Polish
Polish Museum of America, Chicago

Serbian
Federation of Serbian Sisters Circles, Grayslake

Slovak
Slovak Cultural Center, Oak Forest

Slovene
Slovenian Women's Union Heritage Museum, Joliet

Swedish
Erlander Home/Museum, Rockford

Swedish American Museum, Chicago

Ukrainian
Ukrainian National Museum, Chicago

Multi-ethnic
Ethnic Heritage Museum, Rockford

The Field Museum, Chicago

Illinois Artisans Program, Illinois State Museum, Chicago

Museums of Science & Industry, Chicago

ETHNIC MUSEUM DAY IN ILLINOIS

WHEREAS, the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum became the first Latino museum in the nation to be accredited, and since first opening its doors in 1987, the museum is the nation's largest and the Midwest's only Mexican museum; and

WHEREAS, the DuSable Museum of African-American History was founded by Dr. Margaret Burroughs in 1961 and is the first African American Museum in the United States with a collection of more than 100,000 exhibits; and

WHEREAS, the Norwegian Norsk Museum is located in Norway, Illinois, which is the oldest Norwegian settlement in the United States; and

WHEREAS, the Polish Museum of America, established in 1935, is one of the oldest and largest ethnic museums in the United States with one of the permanent collections being the renowned Paderewski Room; and

WHEREAS, some of the Native American museums in Illinois include the Mitchel Museum of the American Indian and the Dickson Mounds State Museum which represents the many Native American cultures of North America; and

WHEREAS, more than 30 ethnic museums will participate in the Governor's tribute to ethnic museums including the Czechoslovak Heritage Museum, Swedish American Museum, Ukrainian National Museum, Scottish American Museum, Latvian Folk Art Museum, Mesopotamia Museum, Greek Museum and Cultural Center, Italian Culture Center, Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, Danube Swabian Museum, African American Hall of Fame Museum, Irish American Heritage Center Museum and Slovenian Heritage Museum.

WHEREAS, the board of directors, staff, volunteers and supporting members of the community of all the ethnic museums in Illinois can be commended for their dedication and commitment in preserving ethnic history and promoting ethnic heritage, tradition and culture;

THEREFORE, I, George H. Ryan, Governor of the State of Illinois, proclaim November 19, 1999, as ETHNIC MUSEUM DAY IN ILLINOIS in Illinois.



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