Montshire Profile

Cinny Bensen, November 2011

How are you connected to the Montshire?
I am a member of the Board of Trustees. I serve on the Executive and Governance Committees and chair the Annual Fund. I was first drawn to the Montshire as an Auction volunteer and worked on that marvelous event for many years in a variety of capacities.

Why do you choose to be involved?
The Montshire is part of what makes living in the Upper Valley such a rich experience and I’m pleased to do what I can to help support its critical educational mission. I’m somewhat of a volunteer by profession and I enjoy working with engaged and creative people. I’ve learned a great deal from the Montshire family—supporters and staff.

When was the first time you came to the Montshire?
I moved to the Upper Valley in 1989 and I remember an outing with my grandmother to the Montshire in its bowling alley location.

What is your favorite exhibit?
My current favorite is the lovely Woodland Garden, but Andy’s Place is the museum space that holds the fondest memories. It was a tight squeeze, but it was always fun crawling in to see the hibernating bear with my toddler children, Emily and Peter.

What do you wish everyone knew about the Museum?
Unlike 90% of science museums nationally, the Montshire receives no state or local tax revenue for its operations. Charitable gifts are essential to fully funding our educational mission.

Is there one word you would use to describe the Museum?
How about two? Unique and engaging.

What do you wish we could do more of in the future?
Programming for teens.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering at the Montshire?
Seeing families enjoying happy, unstructured time together indoors and out as they make scientific discoveries—often without being aware of it.

What is the best kept secret at the Montshire?
It’s not a children’s museum!!!!

What is your favorite Montshire story to tell?
Well, it’s not really “my” story but it brought a smile to my face to learn that the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and his family spent the night at the museum sleeping on the floor of the program room, to the delight of his many grandchildren.

Which other museums do you enjoy visiting?
Honestly, I don’t get to enjoy a museum very often. Some of my favorites include the Musee des Beaux Arts in Montreal, the Spy Museum in DC and the Musee Marmottan in Paris. The Shelburne Museum and Hay Estate were both on my list for this past summer but somehow life got in the way. I have no excuse not to visit the Hood before the snow flies. Thank goodness the Montshire is right in our own backyard! 


Montshire Museum of Science Engage the Senses