History & Governance

Museum buildings
History, Governance and Values

Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Kalamazoo Valley Museum is operated by Kalamazoo Valley Community College and governed by its Board of Trustees. From its beginning in 1881 as a collection of curiosities in the public library basement, the Museum has always been a tax-funded museum. Until 1984, the museum remained a department of the Kalamazoo Public Library. From 1984 to 1991, the Museum received its operating support from the Kalamazoo City School District. In 1991, the Museum became part of KVCC and won the support of the community through a charter millage.

In February 1996, the College opened a new 60,000 square foot state-of-the-art museum facility, designed by noted museum architect E. Verner Johnson, that was funded by a $19.6 million dollar private capital campaign. Over 11,000 donations, ranging from $10 to $4.5 million dollars were contributed to build and furnish the new museum. Kalamazoo Valley Museum represents a successful partnership built from private funding and operates with public tax support.

Its mission statement was adopted in 1995 and revised in 2012: "The Kalamazoo Valley Museum uses its collection and resources to provide its audience with innovative learning experiences, conversation, and community interaction as we examine our past, influence our present, and create our future"

The Museum seeks to develop cultural, historical and scientific literacy through innovative exhibits, special exhibitions, planetarium programs, educational programs and weekend family events. Find out for yourself - browse this website, and come for a visit where you're sure to find lots to see and do!

The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is operated by Kalamazoo Valley Community College and is governed by its Board of Trustees.