The Makeover Continues…

As the Extreme Exhibit Makeover Participants continue their work, there are some tidbits that are coming out. A piece of the exhibit will focus on Veterans from the area and a video will be a part of the exhibit.

Some snippets the interview that is being edited for the exhibit are below. This is really powerful stuff…

“It was 6 months before I realized I hadn’t seen a tree. Everything is the same color. And you can never get away from the dust. There’s dust and gravel everywhere. We had to work at it to keep the Aid Station clean enough to practice medicine. ”

“On the news people see battles and explosions, but they don’t realize, sometimes it’s the little things that get to you out there.”

“It’s the repetition. You do the same thing everyday and there’s only so many movies you can watch or games you can play. . . . . . Even the incoming fire get boring. I got to the point where sirens would go off and I didn’t even care. I figure if it’s gonna hit me, it’s gonna hit me.  I have no control over that.”

Stay tuned for more information on how the exhibit is coming along. We expect to be open to the public on Wednesday, March 19. Mark your calendars now for a powerful experience.





An Exhibit Wish List!

We know the holiday season is over, but we have a wish list for the upcoming exhibit.

If you have any of the following items and would like to share them with us, please email Andrea from Team Kardashian at

– twin size bedding (sheets, pillow, comforter)
– small living room chair
– small lamp with shade
– 1-2 stuffed animals (about 12″ high)
– 6-12 bottled waters
– female hygeine items (toothbrush, deodorant, hair brush, etc)
– 2 rugs (4′ X 6′ approx or smaller)
– DVDs circa 2011 or before (bootleg DVDs are better!)
– Care package items: ground coffee, pack of Twizzlers, hand sanitizer, bug spray, power bars, chap stick, batteries, crossword puzzle book, sunflower seeds snack.

Guest Post from Sandy Spring Museum Executive Director Allison Weiss

History Museum meets Reality TV

So we are now officially two months into the three and a half month process of conducting the extreme makeover and we have learned many lessons.

1.       History Museums function much like reality TV.

Apparently both teams have experienced a lot of drama.  This has included a certain amount of fighting, “my way or the highway” impasses, personal life challenges which resulted in some drop-outs, and general parting of the ways for team members who were politely asked to “leave the island.”

2.      Creating museum exhibits is not for the faint of heart.

Many people ask me why the exhibits are not changed on a regular basis.  The answer is simple: it takes a lot of time to do it right.  You need to do research, write text, find artifacts…but first you need to decide what story to tell and how that story can best be conveyed to a museum audience of varying ages, experience, education, interests, and so on.  It’s also very expensive.  Estimates to hire a professional exhibit designer and have the exhibit built are about $300 a square foot!

3.      You can do serious history and still have fun.

Performer Tania Katan, the curator of shenanigans at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, takes the serious subject of high art and turns it on its head (Arm Wrestling for Art, anyone?).  Tania will be the MC when the teams install their Extreme Exhibit Makeovers on March 15 and 16.  The Sandy Spring Museum is committed to doing serious history but, on this occasion, we will do it in a very non-serious way.

I’m on pins and needles waiting for updates from the two teams.  I’m so impressed with how much time they have devoted to the project and how resourceful they have been, cajoling colleagues for donations of supplies and expertise.

Submitted by Allison Weiss, Executive Director, Sandy Spring Museum