The Chapel Hill community and UNC should step in to ensure the preservation of the educational resources of the Chapel Hill Museum.
The museum announced last week that it would be shutting down by the end of the year due to a lack of funding from the Town Council.
Proposed in 1993 and built in 1996, the museum was meant to reflect the importance of the town’s culture and a revitalization of downtown.
It also offers educational programs that help K-12 schools meet state-mandated curriculum requirements.
However, the museum is a less popular attraction than other Chapel Hill locales.
Approximately 1,250 people typically visit the museum each month, according to an e-mail from museum Director Traci Davenport.
The Carolina Basketball Museum, on the other hand, averages 2,400 visitors a month, reaching a 4,000-person peak during basketball season.
While Davenport and specialists at the Wilson Library’s North Carolina Collection expressed an interest in an exchange of artifacts — like a Chapel Hill fire truck from 1914 and 280 pieces of Southern pottery — nothing has yet been confirmed.
The museum’s sponsors should get the support to continue the educational initiatives, including the fire safety puppet musical and the historical narratives of the Lost Colony, Franklin Street and pottery in North Carolina.
The University has an opportunity to obtain regional historical artifacts to boost its collection and ensure the longevity of local memorabilia.
Educators, students and historians have been utilizing the artifacts and information at the Chapel Hill Museum.
The Town Council was against closing the museum, but ultimately could not ensure it a steady flow of funds.
The community should step in where the Town Council could not and advocate for the continuance of its own history.