Posted by Dr. Honora Norton
The Rotary Club of Scottsdale welcomed representatives from The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) to a recent Club Hybrid Zoom and onsite luncheon held at The Scottsdale McCormick.  Speaking were Ida Jones, Group Sales Coordinator at the MIM and Meg Sheehan, Corporate and Major Gifts Officer at the MIM.
The MIM, completed in 2010 at a cost of $250 million, was founded by Robert J. Ulrich, former CEO and Chairman of Target Corporation, who was a collector of African Art and a world museum enthusiast.   The MIM’s contemporary building, located in North Phoenix, covers approximately 200,000 square feet, with two floors of galleries, Café (due to COVID-19 is currently closed) and Museum Store.  Over the past 10 years, the MIM’s 299-seat concert theater has held close to 2,000 concerts representing 70 countries with close to ½ million concert attendees. 
Ms. Jones presented interesting museum facts, noting that museums in general are positive community economic engines that provide over 726,000 jobs, annually contribute over $50 billion to U. S. economy, and provide considerable amount of tax/tourism revenue.  The MIM, with over 2.7 million visitors during its 10 year history, has earned “TripAdvisor’s” tourism ratings as Phoenix’s #1 attraction and #15 of all U.S. museums. 
Ms. Jones provided an exciting overview of the MIM’s many galleries: 
  • The MIM’s global galleries include a collection of more than 8,000 instruments from more than 200 world countries. The galleries reflect the rich diversity and history of many world cultures.  The exhibits feature flat screen high-resolution videos showing musicians performing on native instruments.  Visitors can listen to the performances through wireless devices with automatically activated headphones as each exhibit is observed. 
  • The MIM’s Artist Gallery celebrates music’s most influential artists personalities with ever-changing exhibits that span sound, style, and era. See and hear instruments played by icons such as Elvis Presley®Johnny Cash & June CarterPablo CasalsBuddy Rich“King” Sunny AdéClara RockmoreMaroon 5, Roberta Flack, and many others from around the world.
  • In The MIM’s Experience Gallery, everyone can be a musician. Guests can make their own music and play instruments from around the world that are similar to ones on display throughout the museum. The interactive and hands-on space is fun for families and guests of all ages. 
  • The MIM’s Encore Gallery is another hands-on space that features developmentally appropriate instruments and activities for prekindergarten through second grade field trip participants. 
  • The MIM’s Mechanical Music Gallery features a selection of mechanical musical instruments, featuring a selection of mechanical musical instruments, such as barrel organs, mechanical zithers, cylinder music boxes, disc players, automatons, and more. Guests can see a range of instruments from The Golden Age of Mechanical music that use technologies such as punched cards and discs, paper rolls, pinned cylinders, and electromagnets.
  • The MIM’s Conservation Lab gives guests a behind-the-scenes glimpse at collection maintenance and preservation.
Ms. Jones stated that the MIM is proud of its collaborations with schools, companies, and other key organizations.  The MIM’s Education Department seeks to inspire learners of all ages and abilities by offering a wide range of educational programs—from field trips and museum tours to artist residency programs, from lectures and classes for adults to workshops for children, seniors, and much more!
Ms. Sheen provided attendees with an overview of The MIM’s Educational and Corporate Partner Programs, donor levels and ways to volunteer, donate and/or support the MIM. 
In closing, Ms. Jones extended an invitation for everyone to explore the MIM’s musical instruments, collections, exhibitions, concerts, as well as, to experience what we have in common - a thought powerfully expressed in The MIM’s motto, music is the language of the soul.
To learn more about The MIM’s ongoing and upcoming exhibitions, virtual events, safety precautions, hours of operation, and more – see  To learn more about Rotary Club of Scottsdale – see