The announcement that eight Dixon area museums have created a cross-promotional brochure is a positive development.
It's one thing to capitalize on history and create interesting attractions.
It's quite another to persuade people to visit them.
Dixon already has a good lineup of historical and artistic places to see. As outlined in the Dixon Museum Alliance's first brochure, they are:
• The Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home and Visitors Center;
• Loveland Community House and Museum;
• Lee County Historical Society;
• Lee County Genealogical Society;
• John Deere Historic Site (in Grand Detour);
• The Next Picture Show;
• Dixon Welcome Center; and
• The Dixon Telegraph Museum (forgive us for a bit of self-promotion here).
Not all local museums participated in the inaugural effort. For example, a major museum, the Northwest Territory Historic Center, formerly known as the Dixon Historic Center, opted not to be part of the Alliance this year.
The brochure has basic information about each attraction, including addresses, hours of operation, and brief descriptions.
When placed in the hands of out-of-town visitors at individual museums, the brochures could well accomplish the Alliance's aim of enticing those people to visit multiple museums.
When visitors extend their stay in a community, good things can happen. As visitors travel from one museum to the next, they might also decide to spend money at local restaurants, stores, and gas stations.
Creating a tourist rack card was not the Alliance's only purpose.
Representatives of the museums met regularly earlier this year; they plan to meet again in August. Sharing ideas and networking could reap further benefits.
As we congratulate the Dixon Museum Alliance, we encourage the public not to take these museums for granted.
A great way to support them is by simply going to them. Summer is an opportune time to pick a museum you haven't been to yet, set aside an afternoon, and go check it out.