IMPORTANT UPDATE June 5, 2024

  • Attending either the Education and Recreation Committee meeting this evening or the full Supervisors’ meeting on Wednesday, June 19 would probably not be productive because of what’s being proposed and is working its way through the process.
  • Officials are being inundated with calls, some of which are from the other side of the issue.
  • Do attend, if possible, the Education and Recreation Committee meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3, at NEW Zoo.
  • Also attend the full Brown County Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday, July17.
  • In the meantime, put phone pressure on the office of County Executive Troy Streckenbach, 920-448-4001.
  • The Neville LGBTQ display has not been removed, as reported earlier, with the exception of a shelf of children’s books (the “book nook”), which apparently was moved or removed.

On Wednesday, June 5, at 5:00 p.m., the Education & Recreation Committee of the Brown County Board of Supervisors will discuss the LGBTQ+ Exhibit at Neville Public Museum.

District 1 – Ron Antonneau (committee chair) – (920) 621-7899
District 2 – Thomas DeWane – (920) 609-1073
District 5 – Dan Theno (committee vice chair) – (920) 857-9832
District 6 – Kathy Lefebvre – (920) 468-6191
District 23 – Dixon Wolfe – (920) 690-6024

When you call, insist that:

  • the Neville Museum’s LGBTQ+ exhibit is not an acceptable exhibit for children.
  • children should be permitted to view this exhibit only if accompanied by a parent or guardian (not a teacher!).
  • if the musum refuses to remove this inappropriate exhibit, the County Board should DEFUND THE NEVILLE. County taxpayers are responsible for two-thirds of the Neville Public Museum’s annual budget.

The Committee will meet on Wednesday, June 5 at 5:00 p.m. at the Main Park Shelter at Bay Shore County Park, 5637 Sturgeon Bay Road, New Franken. Comments from the public will be allowed right after the meeting is called to order and the agenda and previous meeting’s minutes are approved. If you can, come prepared to speak for three minutes.


Background
Since February 2024, the taxpayer-funded, county-owned and -operated Neville Public Museum in Green Bay has been hosting a “Telling Our Stories” exhibit that highlights “LGBTQ+ Stories of Northeast Wisconsin.” The exhibit will run through November.

Members of Northeast Wisconsin (NEW) Patriots have visted the museum, toured the exhibit, and posted pictures online here: N.E.W. Patriots’ April 5 Call to Action regarding the LGBTQ+ exhibit

We believe the exhibit is inappropriate for children and indeed harmful to them. Transgenderism is a political movement. It does not belong in a public museum. We oppose the weaponization of a public museum to advocate for a political cause.

Beth Kowalski, executive director of the Neville Public Museum, is aware of our opposition to the exhibit. The “packet” prepared for members of the committee in advance of the June 5 meeting contains her response, on pp. 49-50. Her full statement appears below.

But instead of respecting public opinion and taxpayers’ concerns, Kowalski is doubling down and planning to host ANOTHER “celebration” of transexualism. Page 45 of the June 5 meeting packet describes the new transgender-promoting exhibit coming in mid-July to the Neville:

The Transperience curated by the The Bay Area Council on Gender Diversity includes various works of art, multimedia images, soft sculptures, apparel, voices, and interactive opportunities in the form of an immersive sensory art experience. All who enter it receive a glimpse into the experience, its joys and challenges. To learn more about The Transperience and the artists of the Trans Artists Collaborative go to the website www.thetransperience.com (mid-July-mid August 2024) 


Museum Director’s Report

By Beth A Kowalski, Executive Director, Nevelle Public Museum

Supervisors: I believe you are aware of the call to action from the Wisconsin Patriot’s Toolbox Reject LGBTQ+ Exhibit at Neville Public Museum – Wisconsin Patriots Toolbox wipatriotstoolbox.com). If you are not, I wanted to make sure you were alerted.

We anticipated that something like this might occur. Let me correct a couple of misperceptions:

  • We totally respect the rights of parents to control what their children see in museums.
  • We’ve taken numerous steps to ensure that parents and their children do not stumble on exhibits they do not want to see. This includes the removal of the book nook on the second floor [italics ours], updated language on the exhibition and school tour webpages, and updated building maps for a better understanding of all of the offerings.
  • We are always open to other exhibit proposals. ln fact, our objective is to collect and share the voices of our diverse communities. We realize that there can be tensions between various communities holding differing beliefs. But we want to share the voices of the communities in the hope of creating further understanding.

If you are addressed by a constituent, please feel like you can share the statements below.

The Neville Public Museum’s role is to bridge communities and connect generations. The Museum does this by collecting and sharing the voices of our communities through exhibitions and public programs. The Museum has eight different exhibition spaces and hosts approximately fifteen different exhibitions during the year, featuring local history, science, and art.

The museum exhibits attract different people who have different levels of interest and reactions to each exhibit. For example, we know some people love traveling dinosaur exhibits, while others enjoy candy chemistry or contemporary art. Through the wide variety of exhibits, the Neville reflects the collection of artifacts and first-person accounts of historical significance from our various communities.

Stay tuned as you will be receiving an exhibition and program survey link from me the first week of June that we hope you will participate in as well as share it with your constituents. Date [sic] will be shared with the Museum Governing Board and will be used to plan the next 5-7 years of programming.

Sincere thanks to those of you who have reached out to me. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to call.

Thank you Sincerely, Beth

Beth A Kowalski, Executive Director
[email protected]
920-448-7848 office
920-764-2260 mobile

Call to Action: Protest the LGBTQ+ Exhibit at Neville Public Museum

4 thoughts on “Call to Action: Protest the LGBTQ+ Exhibit at Neville Public Museum

  • June 4, 2024 at 8:59 pm
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    What is your issue? It’s an historical exhibit. It’s not hurting anyone. For those of us with LGBTQ+ family and friends, this is an important exhibit for them. If you don’t like it, don’t visit it. Don’t bother with it. Let those of us who appreciate it and are thankful for it just be. You have no right to interfere. Perhaps check yourselves and judge not lest YE be judged. Why don’t you focus on REAL issues such as the election.

    Reply
    • June 5, 2024 at 9:10 pm
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      Schoolchildren visit the Neville for classroom field trips. There is no “If you don’t like it, don’t visit it” as far as those kids are concerned.

      Reply
    • June 6, 2024 at 4:47 am
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      Tracy Mangold you are a disgrace to the Republican Party and Conservatism as a whole. To think you are the secretary of the 8th District and are in favor of grooming children. Shame on you.

      Reply
  • June 5, 2024 at 9:05 pm
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    I recently I spoke with a teacher from a Green Bay private school. She was considering an “end of year” trip to the museum with her students: you know, history, artifacts, antiques. When I shared photos of the History of LGBTQ+ exhibit she was shocked to learn of this display. “I had no idea, and I might have taken my students there!”

    This exhibit is not appropriate for children under 18 years of age, unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The display only leads a person in the direction of living a lifestyle in the LGBTQ+ community.

    Because of the interactive components of the exhibit, and the video of a Miss Piggy Drag Queen, I believe it is targeting and intended to influence younger children.

    My personal belief is the percentage of actual LGBTQ population is much lower than reported. This ‘lifestyle’ has become trendy. This display is grooming children to explore a lifestyle that is unnatural for most of them.

    I did not feel that the display was “bringing” people together, bridging communities, or connecting generations. Rather, I felt it was creating more division, and was politically motivated.

    Our community needs a museum, and I expect my tax dollars to support the building, personnel, and maintenance.

    This LBGTQ+ exhibit is not an appropriate use of a taxpayer-funded facility. And while the exhibit is privately sponsored, I can make a choice to no longer do business with those companies. This display was brought into a facility supported by our tax dollars! And we had no voice in the matter.

    If the Brown County Supervisors on the Education and Recreation Committee, or Museum Directors, truly believed this exhibit was a benefit to all the people of Brown County, bridging the community and connecting generations, it would have been advertised and promoted just like the Pranges Christmas Window Display.

    I encourage this committee to require this exhibit be removed, or our tax dollars no longer used to support the Neville Museum.

    Reply

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