Ever since Tammy Bradford was suddenly dismissed from her position as Creston’s museum manager, the community has been fighting to get rehired.
From a protest to a rowdy museum meeting leading to the voting out of most of the museum board, the history lovers of the valley have had one goal in mind: get Tammy back.
Now, after much to and fro, Bradford has returned to her position and, for the first time since being dismissed, has chosen to speak.
Bradford says she was touched to see the sheer amount of people supporting the museum.
“I think we got into the habit of not asking the community how they could support us and decided, somewhat arbitrarily, that we were going to struggle to recruit members, directors, and volunteers,” said Bradford.
“I wouldn’t advise having a major crisis as your way of finding out that there is support for all those community organizations that might be struggling in many of the same ways. But it’s good to see and I’m hoping we can find ways to keep people as engaged as they have been in the last few months.”
Aside from the obvious concern surrounding the Creston Museum’s future, many community members got involved solely due to Bradford herself.
She says it was moving to see people respond to her work.
“I’ve had moments where I’ve just had all the feels and I’ve had to go and be alone and quiet somewhere, but it’s really good. I really appreciated all of the support and just how much people have gone out of their way to let me know that they value not only the museum but the work I have done with the museum. And I’m looking forward to continuing that.”
Now with an almost entirely new museum board, there will be new challenges in the future.
“They’re all wonderful people on the board,” said Bradford.
“They’re focused on long-term sustainability and community engagement.”
She adds they will continue to improve the relationship with the new board.
“We’ve had some long conversations about the difference between governance and operations. Those are lines that have blurred quite dramatically in the last several years. We’ve had some long conversations to find out where the board’s work starts and mine ends and just where that fits.”
She says she is very hopeful that it will be a very positive and strong relationship going forward.
Now that she’s back to work, Bradford looks to the future.
“The seniors programs that we’ve been doing for a number of years, for example, I’m already back on the schedule for those. We’ve had research requests and people coming in to check the place out. It’s business as usual.”
“To everybody in the community who has supported me and the museum, it’s really good to see. Thank you very much.”