GREAT FALLS – This week, the History Museum in Great Falls celebrated nine years of dedication by Executive Director Jim Meinert, and after nearly a decade as executive director, Meinert knows history is more than the big picture— it’s the little pieces that give the museum life.
“99.9% of history is of just ordinary people, people that you won’t read them out or hear about at other museums,” he said. Meinert has helped tell many of these ordinary stories and has overseen the making of five documentary films.
Now a new face will help revive the forgotten chapters of Great Falls’ past. Kristi Scott steps into the executive director role on March 18.
“I found the history of Cascade County so compelling that I uprooted from the Bozeman area where I’d been living for a decade and came back to my home town of Great Falls,” explained Scott to MTN.
She has previously served other area museums, like the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art. She is also in her third term as chair of the Cascade County Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, keeping her fingers on the pulse of Cascade County history.
“There [are] all kinds of stories that are spinning around in my mind that I am really looking forward to getting the time to work with the staff and research and develop,” Scott said. She is eager to dig into the museum’s extensive archives and do, in her own way, what the museum has always done.
“I hope we keep telling the story,” said Meinert of the museum’s future. “The story of people that have done so much for this area, it’s on their shoulders that we stand.”
Now, Meinert— despite some “executive directors withdrawal”— will take some long overdue time to relax.
“I’m going to take a long nap, I think that’s the first step,” Meinert joked.
He can rest easy with the History Museum in good hands.
Reporting by Joe Huisinga for MTN News