On behalf of the entire board, donors and all our volunteers, we are proud to recognize Hillary Kempenich as a Bush Fellow for 2023. From the Bush Fellowship website… “The Bush Fellowship is a recognition of your extraordinary accomplishments and support for your potential. It is an investment in you, so that you can make a difference in your community.” Simply stated, Hillary makes a difference in our Grand Forks community each day.
Hillary has played a vital role in the establishing the vision for the Grand Forks Children’s Museum as well as planning for the design and implementation of the STEAM (Science Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) exhibits and programming. The museum will be a proud reflection of her vision, creativity, and leadership.
Hillary Kempenich is a storyteller, artist, and knowledge keeper who facilitates healing and opportunity through the arts. She is an agent of change with a passion for making places such as libraries and museums more accessible. As a leader in the creation of a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) museum, Hillary is determined to infuse authentic reconciliation, repatriation, and decolonization practices into planning and programming. The Bush Fellowship will allow Hillary to continue to gain expertise in STEAM and her artistry, for the benefit of the community. To gain the knowledge and skills to lead this work, Hillary will seek mentorship with fellow knowledge keepers to ensure cultural survival and visibility. She also will pursue certification in museum studies and study STEAM education integration. Hillary will balance her studies with time devoted to reflection and reconnection to Indigenous spaces.
On a personal note, I am proud to call Hillary my friend. I admire her remarkable vision, artistry, achievements, and the authenticity she brings every day. I am grateful for her many contributions to the Grand Forks Children’s Museum project. This world would be a better place if everyone gave so freely of their time, talent, and treasure, as Hillary does each day. I know that as a community, Grand Forks has reaped the benefits of the many contributions that Hillary has made.
Thank you, Hillary, and congratulations on becoming a Bush Fellow, a well-deserved achievement.