Little-known museum offers educational experience



    A BYU off-campus museum wants its secret out so that students will visit and learn, said the museum curator.

    Heather Seferovich works at the Museum of Peoples and Cultures. She said she is anxious for students to discover the museum.

    “We are BYU’s best kept secret,” Seferovich said. “We are the coolest place students can come to learn about life or if they’re just bored.”

    Until the end of May the museum will host “Common Threads–Weaving Cultural Identity,” an exhibit featuring textiles from all over the world.

    “Most people don’t think of textiles as educational, but textiles are found in every culture and help identify many things such as economy and gender issues. Just like modern times, textiles played a big part in ancient times,” said Seferovich.

    The present exhibit has showcases from India, the American Southwest, South America and Polynesia. Some of the artifacts were collected by students, some borrowed from other museums and some are owned by the museum.

    Students build all the exhibits in the museum. This provides hands-on experience as well as one-on-one training for the students, said Seferovich.

    “We have an army of students who choose items to show, write display copy, build the displays and give the tours,” she said.

    This interactive training impresses graduate schools and employers, said Seferovich.

    “Our students are sought after by the Smithsonian and graduate schools like Georgetown,” she said.

    Students who visit the museum will find that a lot of thought goes into the exhibits.

    “It’s a very educational experience,” said Nathan Cunningham, a senior from St. George, majoring in accounting. “The curators put a lot of time into researching what they show.”

    Seferovich said that many people from the community visit the museum, but many BYU students have not discovered it. She said that it would be great for the BYU community to realize what the museum is and visit it.

    “Come learn and browse. It’s a small museum that will capture your attention with video clips, a music station and the excellent showcases. I can guarantee you will learn something,” she said.

    The music station and video clips are some of the main attractions of the museum.

    “The music station adds an entertainment element to the exhibits because it plays ethnic music,” said Matthew Tippets, a senior from Silver Spring, Md., majoring in communication studies.

    The museum was founded in the 1940s. It was first housed in the basement of the Maeser Building and later moved to Allen Hall on 700 N. 100 East. Visitors are welcome Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

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