While Stuhr Museum is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, listeners can learn more about the museum thanks to a new podcast.
Last Thursday, Stuhr Museum launched a podcast titled “Stuhr Crazy.” Mike Bockoven, director of marketing and public relations, said a podcast was something the museum had talked about doing “for a long time” but never got around to doing. With the museum closed due to COVID-19, he said now was the time to launch one.
Bockoven said the podcast will be released every Thursday for the next five weeks and it will be released a season at a time with six episodes. He said each podcast episode is anywhere between 45 and 75 minutes long.
Episodes are available on YouTube, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, Apple Podcasts, the Stuhr Museum website and on its Facebook and Twitter pages. The podcast is free to download.
Assistant Curator Robb Nelson said each week “Stuhr Crazy” will discuss a different topic related to the Stuhr Museum grounds.
“We try to focus on one of our buildings in Railroad Town that highlights a profession that happened in that building,” Nelson said. “The first episode had to do with the 1890s barbershop. We have an 1890s barbershop on our grounds.
“We talked with Art Anson, who was a barber for 44 years in the Grand Island community. He was great to talk to. He had a lot of insight into the profession and how it has changed over the years.”
Nelson said each podcast episode has two segments. The first segment features a group discussion among Stuhr Museum staff members about a certain topic, while the second segment features an “expert” talking about it.
“‘Expert’ is really underlined because on one episode we had Loren Miller, who is our tinsmith in Railroad Town and has been working in that industry for decades,” he said. “He knows the profession of tinsmithing frontwards and backwards. Having a chance to sit down with him and pick his brain is invaluable.”
Nelson said the podcast topics and interview experts are determined by Stuhr’s podcast team that discusses possibilities for each episode.
Stuhr Museum Curator Kari Stofer said the museum has “a nice trove of research” with its library and staff members, so there are a number of topic possibilities that can be talked about in the podcast episodes that go beyond the stereotypical museum exhibit or tour.
“The curators have really been working hard to get that digital content out there because we have been trying to connect with as many people as we can,” Bockoven said. “When we open the doors again, hopefully people have been paying attention and seeing a little bit about what we have been doing.”
Sam Kozda, giving coordinator for the Stuhr Museum Foundation, said as a new staff member, the “Stuhr Crazy” podcast has allowed her to learn more about the museum.
“This feels like a private tour of Railroad Town because it is just so personal with the people who are hosting and the experts,” Kozda said. “You are getting information about specific artifacts, so when you are sitting and listening to this podcast, it really does feel like you are being taken on an exclusive, private tour of some of these buildings.”
Nelson said that for those who are a fan of history and like what Stuhr Museum has to offer, the podcast is “a much deeper dive” into the history of various aspects of what the museum has to offer.
“Maybe you see Railroad Town and/or walked through the buildings and have seen a lot of the artifacts on our grounds,” he said. “This is a chance to really hear a lot about each individual aspect.”