CONNER PRAIRIE MUSEUM INC

aka Conner Prairie   |   Fishers, IN   |  www.connerprairie.org

Mission

Conner Prairie is a unique historic place that inspires curiosity and fosters learning by providing engaging and individualized experiences for everyone.

Ruling year info

2005

President & CEO

Mr. Norman O. Burns II

Main address

13400 Allisonville Rd

Fishers, IN 46038 USA

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EIN

20-3402627

NTEE code info

Museum & Museum Activities (A50)

History Museums (A54)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Self-Guided School Tours

Over 53,000 pre-K through high school students and accompanying staff experienced Conner Prairie's school tours in 2019, being immersed in history and learning through hands-on STEM activities and interacting with historical interpreters.

Students explore Conner Prairie's main historical areas: 1836 Prairietown, 1863 Civil War Journey, the Lenape Indian Camp, and the William Conner House. Each area offers a different historical setting to meet and interact with residents, learn new skills, and play.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Preschool on the Prairie combines outdoor exploration with play-based, emergent curriculum to create an educational experience second to none. As Conner Prairie’s vision expands to better serve our youngest visitors, we have created an early learning environment that allows children to immerse themselves in nature and the magic of childhood.

Through play and an intentionally-designed environment, children are able to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, expand their creativity, and become equipped with a strong sense of identity through engaging, individualized, and unique experiences.

Our program utilizes philosophies and practices of long-established, research-based theories of early childhood, ensuring the needs and gifts of all students are acknowledged and honored, preparing them for their future academic career and life beyond.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

Memory Cafes are welcoming, safe, spaces for individuals with Alzheimer’s and/or dementia and their loved ones designed to engage the five senses and create opportunities to connect with the world in ways that evoke past memories. Themes of Memory Cafés have included music of the past, our Agriculture and Heritage Breed program, 19th-century cooking, and Storytelling.

Population(s) Served
Seniors

Conner Prairie hosts Sensory-Friendly Mornings the first Sunday of every month. During Sensory Friendly Hours, all exhibit components that make noise are turned off – creating a nurturing environment for guests to explore and learn. Exhibit components that make noise are turned off. All quiet spaces can be utilized and staff trained in Sensory Friendly Practices are on hand in case anyone needs assistance.

Population(s) Served
People with intellectual disabilities

Headless Horseman is Conner Prairie's perennial favorite fall festival, well-known for its haunted hayride and its award-winning corn mazes. Over 37,000 people attended Headless Horseman in 2019, taking part in numerous fall-themed activities, shows, and games on Conner Prairie's grounds.

Population(s) Served
Adults

A Merry Prairie Holiday, Conner Prairie's holiday festival, was launched in 2019. The festival hosts numerous holiday activities for the entire family across Conner Prairie's grounds. Guests can enjoy holiday treats and make fun crafts at the North Pole Village, visit Prairietown to learn more about celebrating the holidays during the Civil War and hear live readings of classic holiday stories, or enjoy local entertainers and musicians at Blitzen's Bandstand. A Merry Prairie Holiday attracted over 21,000 guests in its inaugural year.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Conner Prairie's theatre program is a unique non-traditional experience that consists of many facets, including acting, singing, dancing, poetry, rap, and spoken word. Our program adapts its model from research and practice of applied theatre and integrates into the museum's DEAI promise statement. The purpose of performing arts in museums like ours is to help enhance and enrich the visitor experience with both educational and social consciousness in mind.

While our program combines our past with the present to address current and future societal concerns, we incorporate our interpreters to focus on the 19th century, while putting into practice a diverse group of performers that focus on 21st-century issues.

Throughout the year, Conner Prairie's theater program offers a robust list of productions and layers experiences with learning through the use of professional actors and storytellers.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Every year, Conner Prairie offers free admission on Martin Luther King Day, giving the community an opportunity to learn, play, honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and explore King's vision of what could be achieved through peaceful protest. Some of the day's activities include showings of Dr. King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech, the Peaceful Protest exhibit, and the Tree of Dreams.

Conner Prairie also opens its doors for free every Presidents Day for guests to celebrate the Presidents with games, quizzes, crafts, parties, and more. Guests can enjoy meeting some Presidents of the past, celebrating at George Washington's birthday party, pitching peanuts with Jimmy Carter, putting with Dwight Eisenhower, playing Ronald Reagan's jelly bean guessing game, and so much more.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Conner Prairie's young professionals' group, the Horizon Council, hosts an evening of craft beer featuring tastings from more than 30 local craft brewers. Chat with brewers in an inviting atmosphere and explore Conner Prairie’s 1836 Prairietown during our 9th annual History on Tap event. Get a glimpse of nightlife in Prairietown, sample a historic beer brewed on-site, learn about craft brewing through demonstrations, and chat with local brewers while mingling with over a thousand of your closest friends. Rides on the 1859 Balloon Voyage are available at an additional cost, weather permitting.

All tickets include entry into Conner Prairie, tastings from all breweries and a commemorative glass. VIP, general admission, and designated driver tickets are available.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Festival of Machines is a two-day event that gives guests the opportunity to get up close and personal with machines big and small. The event features award-winning vehicles from around Indiana in the Invitational Showcase Car Show, as well as aircraft, tractors, and heavy-duty machines for guests to explore.

This event is included with general admission, free for members, and for all ages.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Accreditations

Site of Conscience - International Coalition Sites of Conscience 2018

American Alliance of Museums Accreditation 1977

Awards

National Medal 2010

Institute for Museum and Library Services

Life Without Limits Award 2019

Fishers City Council

Partner Award 2019

CICOA Aging and In-Home Solutions

Affiliations & memberships

Smithsonian Affiliate 2008

National Register of Historic Places 1980

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students educated through field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Self-Guided School Tours

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Each total includes students, staff, and chaperones.

Total number of paid admissions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Each total includes daily admissions, seasonal festivals, Symphony on the Prairie, and school tours. 2020 totals were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Number of grants and research funding awarded to the institution

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of outreach efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of programs offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Totals are comprised of education programs, camp programs, public programs, and festivals.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Conner Prairie's mission is "to inspire curiosity and foster learning by providing engaging and individualized experiences for everyone." In doing this, Conner Prairie will expand the boundaries of our historical and natural resources by exploring, celebrating, and improving the human experience.

We strive to engage our guests through an approach called "Opening Doors to Inclusion"; we invite them into active participation in the stories of Indiana history through hands-on experiences, programs, and interpretation.

Conner Prairie aims to inspire curiosity and foster learning through a wide array of programs and experiences. Our museum's main historic areas include 1836 Prairietown, 1863 Civil War Journey, the Lenape Indian Camp, and the William Conner House. These areas tell the story of Indiana's rich history through the lens of its first settlers.

In addition to hosting unique, historic programming, Conner Prairie offers educational opportunities in agriculture and STEM learning, with the goal of sparking curiosity and fostering learning in all guests. Conner Prairie maintains a farm of over 100 livestock, including a rare heritage breed program that is studied by organizations and institutions around the world. Indoor spaces such as Create.Connect give guests opportunities to explore the fundamentals of science, technology, engineering, and math through hands-on activities and Indiana stories.

Conner Prairie aims to create experiences for everyone - regardless of background or abilities. We are guided by our DEAI Promise, which deems diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion paramount to the success of our mission. This philosophy influences all aspects of Conner Prairie's mission as we continue to develop and improve programming for all members of our community.

Conner Prairie had an operating budget of over $12M in 2019 and as of January 2020, employs approximately 114 full-time, 63 part-time, and 294 seasonal staff. Conner Prairie's Guest Experiences division is led by Rich Cooper, Vice President and Chief Programs Officer, and is responsible for the strategic planning, development, and execution of museum experiences and programming. These programs receive financial and marketing support through the efforts of the museum's Advancement division, led by Andrew Bradford, Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer.

Conner Prairie is recognized as Indiana's first Smithsonian affiliate and known nationwide for its unique and innovative programming. Over 414,000 guests visited Conner Prairie in 2019 through school tours, daily attendance, summer camp programming, festivals, and numerous other programs and events. We launched a new holiday festival in 2019 - A Merry Prairie Holiday - which attracted over 21,000 guests from across the state and country. Conner Prairie also began hosting Sensory-Friendly Mornings every month to serve guests with autism, as well as Memory Cafes to welcome and provide a safe space for individuals with Alzheimer's and/or dementia. These programs are only the beginning of Conner Prairie's commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion - one that the museum intends to place at the center of its programming in the future.

In the future, Conner Prairie intends to continue activating its 1,046 acres of land - including 3.3 miles of land along the White River - to tell the story of Indiana history through nature.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

CONNER PRAIRIE MUSEUM INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

CONNER PRAIRIE MUSEUM INC

Board of directors
as of 3/31/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Reggie Henderson

Telamon Energy

Term: 2021 - 2021

Christine Altman

Hamilton County

Michael Berry

Anthem

Marvin Blade

Duke Energy

William Bryan

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Gay Dwyer

Jill Grossman

Morgan Stanley

Jeff Hagerman

The Hagerman Group

Reggie Henderson

Telamon Enterprise Ventures

Dave Kinard

Lilly International

Deon Levingston

Radio One

Jay Love

Bloomerang

Leah McGrath

City of Fishers

Jane Niederberger

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Don Orr

United Animal Health (retired)

Shawn Smith

Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township

Brian Timmerman

Corteva Agriscience

Randy Wilson

Maingate, Inc. (retired)

Steve Hageman

Hageman Group

Jessica Bastin

Anderson University

Melissa Caito

Indy Championships Fund

Kip Chase

Eli Lilly and Co.

Suzanne Gaidoo

Roche Diagnostics

Clint Hangebrauck

NCAA

Leonard Hoops

Visit Indy

Helena Hutton

Cummins Inc.

Rebecca Shrum

Indiana University - Purdue University at Indianapolis

Denny Sponsel

RJE Business Interiors

Teresa Altemeyer

Amy Berg

Ice Miller, LLP

Becky Brammer

Conner Prairie Alliance

Constance Brown

Civic Volunteer

Kristen Dauss

Indiana Department of Correction

Marco Dominguez

Clarence Newsome

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/31/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/31/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.