Cave Creek Museum

To Our Friends,
A recent letter, which I wholeheartedly approved, from Interim Executive Director Suzanne D. Johnson, a Cave Creek resident for nearly 50 years, addressed unfounded rumors that the Cave Creek Museum is moving to Carefree. The intention was to inform Museum Membership that Board Members have looked at potential sites throughout the desert foothills to explore the possibility of a future move. Our desert foothills community has grown significantly over the past 50 years and our museum continues to grow with it, as there are many more stories to tell about our rich history than when the Museum began in 1970.

The Museum is intended, in the words of our Cave Creek Museum bylaws (Article 4, b): “to initiate, sponsor, encourage and support educational programs regarding the history and culture of Cave Creek/Carefree, and the surrounding area.” To say the Cave Creek Museum only “belongs to” Cave Creek is incorrect. We would be foolish to neglect research of locations that present opportunities to improve on what we already have, whether in Cave Creek, Carefree, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Desert Mountain, Desert Hills, etc.
Our Board of Directors met with members of the Dream Team over the past six months to determine the feasibility of moving the outdoor exhibits, which include the Golden Reef Stamp Mill, if a much larger and commercially visible location was as an option. This is not the first time the idea has been presented and certainly does not disparage the many years of work that our amazing volunteers have contributed on the current site.

Multiple sites in neighboring communities, including Carefree, were investigated. We met with landowners and local leadership, looked at multiple sites, and determined that it was feasible to move our museum to a much more commercially visible space, one that appeals to passersby and residents alike, with a brand new structure housing all (instead of some) our amazing collections, both indoor and outdoor. We are still investigating possible locations. Our #1 priority is to work with the Cave Creek community to keep our museum in Cave Creek, and are appealing to the community at large for help.

Improving our financial situation, Cave Creek Museum recently sold unused acreage across the street from its current location in what has become a residential area. The decision to sell at appraised value was made after extensive research. The realtor representing us on the sale, Mark Hazelton, sold the property pro bono and generously donated funds to compensate for his agency’s listing fees.
We have an incredible (but small) paid staff that put Cave Creek Museum first in all they do, beginning with Interim Executive Director Johnson, who stepped into a tough position at a difficult time and whose primary task was to conduct outreach and bring people back that, for one reason or another, left us. Remington “Remi” Pettus, our main conduit in working with our volunteers and programming for the Museum, is a key part of operations. And Elizabeth “Liz” Kapp, our museum curator working with a highly qualified team of volunteers, is responsible for collections and exhibits.

There are many exciting possibilities on the horizon, but as all nonprofit organizations in these trying times, we need money and resources to get to where we need to be. This is our call to you to step up and help. If you are passionate about our museum, then please get involved. If you are not able to get “hands-on” involved, then give your tax deductible donation, as we are a 501c3.
Please give, please get involved, and if you’d like a conversation with me, please get in touch!

Vince D’Aliesio
Board of Directors
Cave Creek Museum