Arts, Culture, and Humanities

HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SEATTLE & KING COUNTY

  • Seattle, WA
  • www.mohai.org

Mission Statement

MOHAI collects and preserves the diverse history of Seattle, the Puget Sound region and beyond. Highlighting innovation and education, MOHAI enriches lives by sharing the individual and collective stories of our communities.

Main Programs

  1. K-12 Education Programs
  2. Exhibits
  3. Collections
  4. Public Programs
Service Areas

Self-reported

Washington

The Museum of History & Industry and its education and outreach programs serve the community in Seattle and throughout the Puget Sound area, including but not limited to King, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, Kitsap and Island counties. Through our website resources, we reach a broader audience as well.

ruling year

1946

Executive Director

Self-reported

Mr. Leonard Garfield

Keywords

Self-reported

museum, history, heritage, seattle, education

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EIN

91-0513034

Physical Address

860 Terry Ave N

Seattle, WA 98109

Also Known As

Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI)

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

History Museums (A54)

Historical Societies and Related Activities (A80)

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

MOHAI has become the preeminent institution in the region for engaging people in the exploration and understanding of the history, character, and development of the Puget Sound community. MOHAI activities — including Exhibits, Public Programs, and Education Programs — are specifically designed to help individuals come face-to-face with the challenges of the past and to envision opportunities for the future. MOHAI is now the largest private heritage organization in the State of Washington, attracting 200,000 visitors annually from the Northwest and beyond, including thousands of K-12 students.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

K-12 Education Programs

Each year MOHAI serves more than 17,000 K-12 students through our onsite and outreach programs. Field trips to the museum include hands-on experiences that are aligned with state standards. Portable museum rentals bring artifacts and lesson plans to the classroom.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

Program 2

Exhibits

The museum includes a core exhibit on the history of the Puget Sound as well as temporary exhibits that focus on a particular aspect of our region or country's history. Many exhibits are curated, designed and built by our Exhibits team; some travel to other museums throughout the state of Washington. In addition, MOHAI brings in traveling exhibits from other museums, such as the Smithsonian.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

Program 3

Collections

MOHAI's  three-dimensional collection is comprised of some 100,000 objects. As at most other museums, visitors will see only about 2% of the museum's total collection at any given time; the remaining 98% is held in storage for future exhibits, research and study, and preservation. The museum's photo collection numbers more than 3 million images. Our collection spans the history of photography, from delicately rendered nineteenth-century daguerreotypes to digital images created yesterday. Finally, our library and archives include manuscripts and archival holdings, maps, books, posters, motion pictures and printed ephemera. All of these items need proper storage, care, and preservation.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Other Named Groups

Budget

Program 4

Public Programs

From lectures and workshops to History Cafes and MOHAI Minutes, MOHAI's public programs are designed to reach a wide and diverse audience both at the museum and beyond our walls.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    MOHAI’s engaging exhibits and programs, its collection of nearly four million historic artifacts and photographs, its document archives, its oral histories, and its award-winning educational programs have created a greater public understanding of the Northwest's fascinating cultural, social, and economic history. MOHAI maintains a broad vision and works collaboratively with numerous history, heritage, and cultural organizations throughout the region.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    MOHAI provides a full spectrum of programs that make local history valuable, relevant, and engaging to the scholar and general public member alike.
    COLLECTIONS: The museum’s photographic archive of more than 3.3 million images is unique for its variety, and the depth it brings to recounting the stories of Northwest history. MOHAI’s three-dimensional collection includes more than 100,000 artifacts that represent all periods of Seattle history; the range of items includes maritime equipment, vehicles, furniture, fine art, decorative arts, toys, recreational equipment, clothing and textiles and everyday household items.
    AWARD-WINNING EXHIBITS: MOHAI works with the community to explore issues in regional and national history, and their impact on our lives today. The museum offers important national and international traveling exhibits as well as exhibitions that are created by MOHAI’s staff and local advisors. MOHAI’s core exhibit “True Northwest: The Seattle Journey” received the Washington Museum Association’s Best Exhibit in Washington State, and the American Association of State and Local History’s Award of Merit.
    MOHAI's new Bezos Center for Innovation is an exciting new highlight of the MOHAI experience, where visitors will explore the powerful story of innovation in Seattle, and young people will discover the innovator within themselves featuring interactive experiences and special insights from some of Seattle's leading-edge innovators.
    QUALITY EDUCATION PROGRAMS: in-museum and classroom outreach programs serve more than 17,000 K-12 students annually and are aligned with state learning standards giving students skills of critical thinking and analysis through historical exploration. We ensure accessibility by keeping all of our Education Programs affordable to schools overall and by offering scholarship support and bus subsidies to schools where more than 40% of students are eligible for the federal Free/Reduced Lunch program.
    History’s Hard Work: Grades K – 2
    Cracking the History Code: Salish Stories: Grades 3 – 5
    The Significance of Salmon (with the Center for Wooden Boats): Grades 5 – 8

    PUBLIC PROGRAMS: MOHAI presents a slate of interesting, hands-on inquiry based programs to engage the broader public in exploring history. MOHAI’s programs include an assortment of lectures, workshops, historic tours, panel discussions, and family-focused activities – all of which are low- or no-cost for participants. Programs include:
    Seattle Antifreeze: a place to meet new people, learn about Seattle and practical tips,DIY History workshops, and the What’s Next Seattle Competition invites visitors to share their solutions to issues facing Seattle as a part of the Bezos Center for Innovation.

    LIBRARY: Through the Sophie Frye Bass History Research Library, MOHAI offers access to historical documents and photographs to researchers, students, media, and amateur and professional historians alike. Library staff serves more than 2,800 people each year.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    In 1974 MOHAI received accreditation from the American Association of Museums and became a Smithsonian Affiliate in 2010. The museum achieved LEED Platinum Certification from the U.S. Green Building. MOHAI is one of only 8 LEED platinum projects in the region, and one of only four museums in the nation.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    MOHAI-produced exhibits and programs have won local, state and national awards in the last five years. MOHAI has more than tripled annual attendance to exhibits, programs and events since opening in the new museum in Lake Union Park.
    MOHAI has a long track record of effective education programs. Teachers consistently report improved ratings of their students' performance in the classroom after using MOHAI resources. MOHAI K-12 education programs meet state learning standards and over 20% of teachers surveys have reported that MOHAI curricula and programs are built into their lesson plans. Education programs serve 21,000 students annually and are on track in the coming year to serve 30,000.
    Engagement is measured by questions and comments raised during exhibit visits through staff experiences, comment cards available in the museum and interactives within the exhibit, associated programming and through social media including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Quantitatively, MOHAI tracks attendance of guests who visit during regular hours, including free First Thursdays, and for all events.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Our key performance indicator—attendance at the museum—continues to stay strong, and far above our own ambitious projections. At the end of August, admission at the turnstile had surpassed 200,000 visitors, in addition to tens of thousands of students and special event attendees. Paid attendance is about eight times greater than the comparable period at our former Montlake location; and four times greater than what we anticipated in our 2013 business plan. Membership and external events are also significantly above projections. 3,650 guests visited MOHAI on August’s Free First Thursday making it the third busiest day of the year.

    Another major indicator—serving students and their teachers—has exceeded goal as well. Education programs sold out in the most recent school year and over the summer, serving over 17,000 students. Teachers told us,
    •“This was one of the best field trips we have been on. My students love it and learned so much. The interactive play was a great way for them to be involved with history of Seattle during the fires.”
    •“Everything was interesting, and carefully observing my kids, they were all so interested in all the things that they have seen and read.”
    •“Loved how interactive the programs were. Thank you for the free passes so students could return with family.”

    In a MOHAI survey of several thousand visitors and members this spring, the new museum scored a 4.5 out of 5 in terms of customer satisfaction, which is consistent with external surveys as well. MOHAI recently received the Certificate of Excellence recognition from TripAdvisor, with a 4.5 out of 5 score (placing us in the top 10% worldwide for visitor feedback). Yelp reviews give us a score of 4 out of 5. The Seattle Times picked MOHAI as one of Seattle’s Top Ten summer attractions; Red Tricycle’s Hot List for Awesome Museums’ for kids and families ranked MOHAI number one in Seattle. MOHAI received national recognition from the American Association of State and Local History for our core exhibit True Northwest: The Seattle Journey, and earlier this year MOHAI was recognized as an outstanding historic preservation project by Washington State and Historic Seattle.

    MOHAI launched the Bezos Center for Innovation, focusing on the history and future of invention and creativity in our region, with a special emphasis on connecting school kids to the tradition of innovation in Seattle. Programs include Family Lab programs; Innovation themed miniMOHAI; and new Innovation Packs for young people exploring the new museum. .

    Community Gallery and Programs—In 2013-2014, MOHAI is developing special community-focused exhibits and programs in partnership with Arts Corps, the Floating Homes Association, the Gay and Lesbian community, the Washington State Jewish Historical Society, the Black Heritage Society, the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society and more;.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Washington

The Museum of History & Industry and its education and outreach programs serve the community in Seattle and throughout the Puget Sound area, including but not limited to King, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, Kitsap and Island counties. Through our website resources, we reach a broader audience as well.

Additional Documents

Social Media

Accreditations

American Association of Museums - 10 Year Accreditation

Affiliations + Memberships

American Association of Museums - Member

External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

The review section is powered by Great Nonprofits

Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SEATTLE & KING COUNTY
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SEATTLE & KING COUNTY

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Executive Director

Mr. Leonard Garfield

BIO

Leonard Garfield is Executive Director of Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry, a nationally-accredited history center with a collection of 4 million historic artifacts and archives, and a robust schedule of exhibits and educational programs related to the history of Seattle, the Pacific Northwest and the United States. MOHAI is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is an official affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. Garfield led MOHAI in its move to a new home at Lake Union Park, which opened in December 2012.
Before joining the museum, Leonard served as director of the King County Office of Cultural Resources (now 4Culture) and as Washington State historic preservation program manager, directing the National Register of Historic Places program in WA.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mrs. Linda Johnson

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?