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‘A greater heart’: Museum at Warm Springs reopens to the public after 5-month closure to replace HVAC system

(Update: adding video, comment from executive director and local artist)

WARM SPRINGS, Ore. (KTVZ) — The Museum at Warm Springs reopened to the public Tuesday morning, after an unexpectedly long closure since last Dec. 18 for the installation of a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

Having opened in 1993, the museum was due for some updates including their HVAC system. Part of the need to update the system was to continue the preservation of cultural artifacts.

Executive director, Elizabeth Woody, said "a greater heart, the HVAC system. That's kind of the central system for climate control."

The majority of funding for the improvements came from  from the the national park service, roundhouse foundation, and the ford family foundation.

Woody said, "the museum opened before the national museum of the American Indian did in Washington D.C. so we're kind of one of the first tribal museums in the State of Oregon, definitely, but in the west coast."

The museum is held to Smithsonian standards in order to protect artifacts 

Local artist, Charleen Moody said, "just seeing some of our art displayed, learning about our history and culture and for them just to get an understanding of what our people have been through and where we are today."

The exhibits promote education about the cultural significance of regional native tribes. Folks can do walking tours that include interactive exhibits, for instance where they can learn about traditional hunting and gathering skills.

Moody said, "they're seeing our people in a today's lens versus always thinking of us as a historic like old country movies and stuff like that versus, no, this is how we are today."

The museum's next project is to make the facility more accessible for people with disabilities. 

Moody said, "I just wish more people would stop by, check it out, pay interest in it, and just learn more."

Museum officials tell me they’re trying to boost tourism to the museum. Profits from admission go to supporting the preservation of artifacts and local artists. 

Here's the rest of last week's announcement:

“On behalf of The Museum at Warm Springs, I want to extend my gratitude to our visitors, members, colleagues, partners and friends who have been so patient during the closure,” said Museum Executive Director Elizabeth Woody. “Due to supply chain delays, the major part of the installation process took longer than initially anticipated. We are grateful for everyone’s support and for understanding the necessity of taking on this important improvement to our infrastructure.”

“The new HVAC system will ensure that everyone who visits our Museum will be comfortable and safe during all seasons and that our collection objects and archives will be protected,” said Woody. “We are especially thankful to our funders. Without them this wouldn’t have been possible.”

Major funders of the HVAC system include the U.S. Congress/National Park Service, The Roundhouse Foundation, The Ford Family Foundation, Portland General Electric Foundation, Spirit Mountain Community Fund and Oregon Cultural Trust.

Become a Museum Member

There are several levels of annual Museum Membership, which begin at $25 for elders and students. All Members receive these benefits: free admission for one year, 10% discount in the Museum Gift Shop and special invitations to exhibits and programs. 2024 Members will have access to the 2024 Oregon Historical Society Reciprocal Membership Program and free admission to a different Oregon museum each month. Join by visiting and click “Join” to see Membership levels and online payment information. Or send a check to: The Museum at Warm Springs, P.O. Box 909, Warm Springs, OR 97761 (Attn: Membership).

Get Monthly News from The Museum at Warm Springs!

To receive The Museum’s monthly e-newsletters and updates, send an email request to:

About The Museum at Warm Springs

The Museum at Warm Springs opened its doors to the public on March 14, 1993. Built to Smithsonian Institution professional standards, The Museum’s mission is to preserve, advance and share the traditions, cultural and artistic heritage of The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon. Regular Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission: Museum Members (free), Adults ($7), Senior Citizens over 60 ($6), Students 13-18 with student body card ($4.50), Children 5-12 ($3.50) and Children 4 and younger (free). The Museum welcomes donations any time of the year. Please consider a matching gift to the Oregon Cultural Trust. Your gift to the Trust (up to $500 for individuals, $1,000 for couples filing jointly, and $2,500 for class-C corporations) is a tax credit, a dollar-for-dollar reduction for any Oregon taxes you owe. The Oregon Cultural Trust is a generous supporter of our Museum. The Museum at Warm Springs is located at 2189 Highway 26 in Warm Springs. Phone: (541) 553-3331. For more information, visit

Article Topic Follows: Warm Springs

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