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Circus World Museum facing a crisis

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3rd Chaise to the...
posts: 1,488
reviews: 31
Circus World Museum facing a crisis

The Governor's Budget for 2013 would take away local operation of Circus World Museum in Baraboo and give control to the State Historical Society. Donors have said if that happens -- they are outta there.

If you live in Wisconsin and care about Circus World, contact the Gov and your elected reps and tell them the future of CW is withe the current Foundation and circus lovers.

Gov budget goes into effect on July 1 -- current staff could be gone by Aug 1 -- along with anything "on loan" to the museum.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Madison
posts: 1,040
reviews: 11
1. Re: Circus World Museum facing a crisis

Here's a link to the local newspaper article. wiscnews.com/news/local/article_1f9a2706-7c9…

Wisconsin
posts: 1,034
reviews: 115
2. Re: Circus World Museum facing a crisis

Never been here and never will. I have a huge fear of clowns and circus stuff!

Read the article but not sure if this is a good or bad thing. I don't know enough to make an educated decision. Who pays for all the building repairs/maintenance and taxes? Need to know more info before I complain. I always like to have all the info before I make up my mind.

Sioux Falls, South...
Destination Expert
for Sioux Falls
posts: 1,748
reviews: 128
3. Re: Circus World Museum facing a crisis

I think this is a good thing (certainly not the donors leaving, but the management change). We had an awful experience there with many rude staff members:

We ran through the rain upon arrival to catch the tiger show. I didn't make it in the door when an employee barked, "No strollers!" He pointed to another tent to leave my stroller. I dashed in there quickly because the show was now under way. "You're in a restricted area!" another barked. This was two no-nos on my part which had me ready to cry within the first five minutes of our arrival. Later, there was a lightning storm. We asked if we could eat our lunch inside their main building. "No!" After that, my son did something inappropriate to my daughter. Before I could discipline him, an employee scolded him: "Now look what you did!" At the circus show, my other son stood up for one second so he could see. Again, before I could handle it (as a parent should), an employee barked, "Sit down!" I don't know if they aren't paid enough or what, but everyone seemed to be in a foul mood and we couldn't seem to do anything right all day. We've never been reprimanded by five different employees in one tourist attraction in a single day. I filled out a comment card and no response.

That being said, I do still recommend the attraction to people because it's a really neat place to visit, I don't want to see it close, and I'm hoping our experience was just a fluke. If it was not a fluke, something definitely needs to change in the area of customer service.

3rd Chaise to the...
posts: 1,488
reviews: 31
4. Re: Circus World Museum facing a crisis

From what I understand, the Foundation raises the money to keep the doors open -- that money either comes in locally or from circus history buffs around the world. That money would likely dry up if the state group takes over.

Also, the Foundation acquires the items for collections -- from costumes to wagons -- then restores them and donates them to the Museum. That would also probably stop,

3174 - sorry about your experience. There are employees and a lot of volunteers at CWM, so you might have had both. When were you there?

tucson, az
posts: 1,635
reviews: 5
5. Re: Circus World Museum facing a crisis

What's wrong with the State Historical Society?

Sioux Falls, South...
Destination Expert
for Sioux Falls
posts: 1,748
reviews: 128
6. Re: Circus World Museum facing a crisis

summer 2010

Wisconsin
posts: 829
reviews: 11
7. Re: Circus World Museum facing a crisis

Ah, politics in Wisconsin. I really don't understand why the Gov. wants this to change. If they were having problems, maybe that would be a reason, but it seems to be operating ok. And having another entity take it over does not necessarily mean that employees would be nicer or meaner.

Wisconsin
posts: 1,034
reviews: 115
8. Re: Circus World Museum facing a crisis

Does this just involve circus world or all state historical things and circus world is just one if the places involved?

Yes please leave politics off the boards. No need to continue the walker/anti-walker rhetoric.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Madison
posts: 1,040
reviews: 11
9. Re: Circus World Museum facing a crisis

Yes, it's good to watch the politics, but it's politics that has caused this situation at least in part.

3rd Chaise to the...
posts: 1,488
reviews: 31
10. Re: Circus World Museum facing a crisis

To reply to the earlier post -- it's not that there's anything wrong with the state historical society other than they have no hand-on experience with operating the facility and limited local ties. Donations to the Foundation that has operated CWM for 50-some years come from circus devotees from around the world. The historical society blindsided the Foundation with this plan, so a lot of donors are outraged and threatening to pull their support. A gradual transition would smooth ruffled feathers -- but that's not what's being offered.