Wisconsin Historical Society seeks input from black residents

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BELOIT - The Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) is on a mission to build a new state-of-the-art museum honoring Wisconsin, and the state body wants black Beloit residents' input.

The WHS is hosting a listening session at 6 p.m. today at the Beloit Historical Society Lincoln Center, 845 Hackett St. where residents are asked to share input on what they'd like to see enshrined in a new state historical museum, with an emphasis focusing on "multicultural communities in order to integrate authentic perspectives from diverse populations into the new museum," according to the event website.

The Beloit meeting is part of listening sessions across the state with focus areas on various communities to allow resident input on the concept for a new museum.

The idea for a new museum goes back nearly two decades, with support from past governors Tommy Thompson, Jim Doyle and Scott Walker.

The museum will expand its footprint to 100,000 gross square feet, and the project is expected to cost $120 million, of which $70 million could be provided by the state, if approved in the state budget process and the museum raises $50 million in private donations.

The four phase project will include storyline development and exhibit concepts followed by design; then headed up with demolition and construction with an anticipated 2024 opening date, according to the WHS website.

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