Director's Message

The Museum of Northern Arizona was founded in 1928 to increase and diffuse knowledge, encourage the appreciation of science and art, provide facilities for research, and offer opportunities for aesthetic enjoyment. Throughout its history MNA has adhered to those uplifting principles, for which it occupies a place deep in the heart of the community.

We embarked on strategic planning as an opportunity to draw inspiration from the Museum’s illustrious past and to chart a path for our time, laying the foundation for our Centennial in 2028. The team from Lord Cultural Resources led us through six months of thoughtful and thought-provoking activity. The planning process has been an inclusive one, engaging staff, Trustees, supporters, volunteers, colleagues, and community members. I am grateful to everyone who generously shared their thoughts, ideas, and aspirations for the Museum. Our plans are the richer for these many contributions.

The past two years have been challenging. Emerging from the global pandemic, we understand the world has changed. We learned to be resilient, flexible, and responsive. We discovered that our audience is diverse and far-flung. Responding to new expectations, we reviewed our mission and vision. We realigned our priorities with a sharp focus. We recommitted to engaging with our many communities in thoughtful ways.

We have emerged with a plan that gives focus to our ambitions and is deliverable. It will be our north star by which we can confidently advance towards MNA’s next century with energy and enthusiasm, expressing a shared and unified vision of who we are, what we do, and why we do it.

We now move forward with our renewed mission to be the gateway to understanding the Colorado Plateau, engaging local, regional, and global audiences with life-enriching knowledge and experiences. We can learn universal lessons through greater understanding of this remarkable place. These insights are timely and widely relevant, illuminating the connections between people, place, and time through science, art, and culture.

Mary J. Kershaw
Executive Director & CEO