An Exhibition Supporting Experiential Learning And Student Success

May 3, 2023 News

The MSU Museum at Michigan State University has just opened a doorway to the past with its latest exhibition, “WKAR’s Legacy of Innovation.” This exhibition is a vibrant celebration of WKAR Public Media’s extensive history, marking its significant role in the mid-Michigan and Spartan communities for over a century. Furthermore, the exhibition serves a vivid testament to the power of collaboration, student engagement, and experiential learning.

WKAR, based in East Lansing, Michigan, is a well-established public broadcasting service with a rich history that dates to the early 20th century. Initially launched as a college radio station by Michigan State University in 1922, WKAR has since evolved into a significant educational and cultural resource. It became a charter member of the National Educational Radio Network in the 1960s, which later became part of National Public Radio (NPR). Throughout its history, WKAR has provided educational, cultural, and informative programming, including news, music, and local interest shows. This commitment has enabled it to become a vital service for the communities it serves, continually adapting to technological advancements and changing audience needs. Today, WKAR includes not only radio but also television services, offering a diverse range of programming to a broad audience.

Unique to this exhibition is its curation and design, entrusted entirely to students enrolled in MSU’s Curatorial Practices in Museums and Cultural Organizations class. This partnership with WKAR during its centennial celebration is more than a collaboration; it’s a hands-on experiential learning opportunity that places students at the forefront of bringing a century-long story to life.

The MSU Museum’s role in this project extends beyond hosting the exhibition. It serves as an exemplary model of integrating teaching, research, and engagement through collaborative efforts. By partnering with WKAR and the Arts, Cultural Management & Museum Studies program, the museum exemplifies its mission of fostering student success and advancing pedagogical approaches. This partnership also underlines the museum’s role in cultural preservation and storytelling, contributing significantly to the educational and cultural landscape of Michigan State University and the broader community.

Don’t miss the chance to experience “WKAR’s Legacy of Innovation” at the MSU Museum, running through July 27, 2023. This exhibition, generously supported by MSU Federal Credit Union and Consumers Energy, is a journey through time, technology, and the enduring spirit of community media service.

A portrait of the student and instructor of the class, Curatorial Practices in Museums and Cultural Organizations.
MSU interim president Teresa Woodruff receiving a tour of the exhibition from a student.
Guests observing a display of vintage MSU clothing in the exhibition hall.
A display replicating a living room with archived WKAR video on the television screen.