By ANDREW HANSON
KEARNEY – One of the most eventful years at the Frank House at the University of Nebraska at Kearney turned out to be a record-setting one, too.
After hosting Nebraska Chautauqua in June along with a variety of campus and community events throughout the year, the Frank House saw a record 5,985 visitors in 2015.
“Hosting Chautauqua was pretty significant,” said Frank House Director Will Stoutamire. “We also brought in other new programs. One of our student tour guides came up with the idea of doing live-action Clue. That’s been done a couple of times, and we’re going to do it again in the spring.”
June was by far the busiest month at the Frank House. Stoutamire said about 1,600 people attended the five-day Chatauqua festival. The museum also had more than 300 walk-in visitors that month.
March saw the most traffic for regular museum tours, with 390 guests taking tours during the sandhill cranes migration that boosts Kearney tourism that month.
Stoutamire, who became the museum’s curator in Sept. 2014, has worked at increasing the Frank House’s reach.
“We’ve seen a great increase in the number of people reserving for dinners, lunches, meetings or receptions,” Stoutamire said. “We’ve had concerts that have been pretty popular. That’s something I want to continue to increase having, where UNK students come out here and perform.”
In setting its record, the Frank House had 2,746 general museum guests and hosted 53 events that brought in an additional 3,239 people. The 2015 attendance nearly triples the previous year’s count of 2,111 visitors.
“We hope to achieve a similar number this year even with the lack of Chatauqua,” Stoutamire said. “We’re hoping to bring in some potential new programs that will be equally attractive over the summertime to the public.”
The Frank House is located on the west end of campus and offers tours from 2-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon-5 p.m. Saturdays.
Frank House Top Attendance Years
2015 – 5,985
2010 – 4,494
2009 – 4,058
Writer: Andrew Hanson, UNK Communications Intern, 308.865.8454
Source: William Stoutamire, Frank House Director, 308-865-8284, firstname.lastname@example.org