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Museums: New Ohio Statehouse Museum Celebrates History and Demonstrates Government-in-Action

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The newly constructed Ohio Statehouse Museum opened on June 10 featuring interactive, hands-on exhibits to challenge visitors’ knowledge about Ohio history and the workings of state government.

Located on the ground floor of the Ohio Statehouse, the Ohio Statehouse Museum is an interactive experience encouraging visitors to participate in the government process by making choices, expressing their opinions, comparing viewpoints and even becoming a part of an exhibit by giving a State of the State address.

"The new Museum will add to educational programming that has been a part of the Ohio Statehouse since 1996 and helps position the Ohio Statehouse to offer one of the best educational and learning environments in the country, " said Senator Richard Finan, chairman of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board.

The opening of the Ohio Statehouse Museum creates nearly 5, 000 square feet of new exhibits to enrich the experience of school children and visitors. The next construction phase will be completed in early 2010 and will add an extra 5, 000 square feet of exhibits focused on the "Heart of Democracy."

Funding for the Ohio Statehouse Museum is the result of a public/private partnership with the Capital Square Foundation and the State of Ohio. Private contributors through a capital campaign entitled "Enriching the Experience, " under the leadership of Foundation Board Chairman Charles Moses, has raised more than $2.25 million. Exhibits in the museum include, "Ohio’s Constitution, " "The Three Branches of Government, " "How a Bill Becomes a Law, " and "Voting and Elections."

"We are grateful for the support of private donors, whose contributions have provided for more than two-thirds of the total costs of the museum, " said Moses. "This project dramatically changes the way visitors interact with Ohio’s state capitol. By enriching the experience of visitors, the Statehouse becomes a more special place for all Ohioans for generations to come."

Construction of the Ohio Statehouse Museum began in March 2008. The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board will manage and maintain the Ohio Statehouse Museum. Hours are weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; weekends from 12 noon to 4 p.m.; closed holidays. Each year more than 80, 000 visitors tour the Ohio Statehouse. Admission is free.

For more information about the Ohio Statehouse Museum, visit. www.ohiostatehouse.org.

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