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Rosecrance celebrates 100th anniversary with special exhibit at Midway Village Museum

The exhibit is one of many ways Rosecrance is celebrating its centennial this year.

Visitors to Midway Village Museum in Rockford can learn more about Rosecrance’s 100-year history through a special exhibit on display now in the Museum Center lobby.

The exhibit, which will be up through August, follows Rosecrance’s centennial theme of “100 Years of Changing Lives.” It includes two exhibit cases and two exhibit panels with photos, documents and archive items that help tell the agency’s story.

A theme of that story is how Rosecrance has shifted its mission through the years to meet changing community needs. Learn about the agency’s founders, Dr. James and Fanny Rosecrance, and how Rosecrance started as a children’s home in New Milford. The exhibit cases include ledgers with the names of children who lived at the home during the 1940s; a shovel used for an expansion once the home relocated to Alpine Road in Rockford; and a poster from the early days of Rosecrance’s groundbreaking Chemical Dependency Treatment Program for adolescents.

Tiffany Arnold, assistant museum curator of collections, spent several months designing and creating the exhibit using items from Rosecrance’s own archives, and volunteers helped her arrange the final display. She created companion pieces for the exhibit that include a timeline and dedicated one case to helping visitors understand the modern-day Rosecrance treatment experience.

“The exhibit definitely evolved from my initial concept,” she said. “I wanted it to reflect the ‘100 Years of Changing Lives’ theme by helping people understand what it’s like to go through treatment at Rosecrance – not necessarily empathize with people, but take something away and make it more personal.”

The exhibit is one of many ways Rosecrance is celebrating its centennial this year. Rosecrance’s annual benefits – April 25 in Rockford and Oct. 19 in Chicago – will carry the anniversary theme, as will the new Rosecrance Recovery 5K Walk/Run, slated for Aug. 7.

“Tiffany did an amazing job putting the exhibit together,” Rosecrance President/CEO Philip Eaton said. “Rosecrance joins a handful of businesses and organizations that have survived 100 years in this region, and we did it because we’ve evolved to meet the needs of our community. We continue to do so, and we plan to be around, changing and saving lives, for many more years.”

The Museum Center (which houses the Rosecrance exhibit) is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Starting May 1, the center also will be open 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays through August.

Visitors to the Museum Center can view the Rosecrance exhibit in the lobby area for free. Admission to the permanent galleries is $7 for adults, $5 for children ages 3 to 17 and free for museum members. Starting May 7, admission includes entrance to the 13-acre Victorian Village; paid admission includes a one-hour guided village tour.

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