San Fernando Valley Gets Its Very Own Museum, Like Totally

The San Fernando Valley, a vast, 300-square mile area near Los Angeles, and home to two million, has never had a public museum of its own, until now. Except for Valley Girl culture with its consumerist agenda and Valleyspeak, a distinctive, grammar-resistant form of verbal communication, the Valley’s cultural contributions are obscure, or usually attributed to L.A. Now, in the first step toward establishing its own cultural identity, the Museum of the San Fernando Valley (MSFV) has opened in Northridge, not far from Burbank.

As highlighted in the L.A. Times and elsewhere, a new permanent, full-service headquarters and exhibition space for the MSFV offer educational and interactive exhibitions and programs for visitors, residents and friends of the Valley and the museum. The institution has actually existed for a decade, but without a permanent home. The new venue is modest, located in the renovated offices of a former realty firm, with space for the permanent collections on the second floor and temporary exhibition areas on the first.

At the moment, the museum has a small board of about a dozen artists, history buffs and local business owners. Funding comes primarily from membership fees and donations, and costs of the office renovation and initial exhibitions came from several private donors and local businesses. Plans are already underway to raise funds to build a larger building exclusively for the MSFV and its programs. And the museum also plans to open satellite spaces at historical and cultural locations throughout the Valley.

“I think that many of us have been trying to tell that [Valley] story for a long time,” Paul Krekorian, L.A. City Council member for the Valley-based 2nd District told the press at the museum’s inauguration. “Having a permanent location dedicated to that effort—not just a repository of items of historical interest but a place dedicated to helping people better understand the depth of that story—is very important,” he added. The inaugural displays center on photography, local artifacts, and historical material related to the Valley. Opening times and days are limited at present, so best to check beforehand if you go.

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