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Get Involved

Information on how to get involved with the Museum of Culture & Environment.

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Exploration and donation information for collections at the Museum of Culture & Environment.

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Index page for exhibits at the Museum of Culture & Environment

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Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

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Mission, Vision, & Values

Mission, Vision, & Values

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Contact the Museum

Contact the Museum

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The Museum of Culture and Environment is located in Dean Hall on the Central Washington University campus. It is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the Contact page

Current Exhibits


Yakama Beadwork: Images in Glass

In Yakama pictorial beadwork, creativity and tradition come together in the form of beaded bags, vests, and other kinds of regalia. Skillful Yakama beaders stitch glass beads into beautiful images: grazing deer, chirping birds, people dressed in their finest, and pop-culture icons. This exhibit showcases the diversity of Yakama pictorial beadwork through the eyes of scholar, independent museum curator, and professional beader Miles Miller (MS Museology, enrolled member of Yakama Nation). In each beadwork piece, you will glimpse into artists’ worlds, a visual reminder of significant moments in their or their families lives—the stories lost to time. This exhibit is on display at the CWU Museum of Culture & Environment from September 28 – December 9, 2023.


We’ve Always Been Here: Queer Histories of Kittitas County

The title says it all: We’ve Always Been Here is an exhibit focused on LGBTQ+ experiences in Kittitas County’s history. In this exhibit, the word “queer” is used to point out the diversity of genders and sexual orientations within our community’s history. This exhibit celebrates and honors stories of Kittitas County’s queer residents who made our community what it is today. It was researched and curated by scholar and anthropologist Tiernan VanSuetendael (MS Cultural and Environmental Resource Management) and developed and designed by CWU’s Museum Exhibit Design course. According to VanSuetendael, “I hope people will walk away from this exhibit feeling that they have a place in history, that they belong here, that LGBTQ+ people have always been here, and have history.” The exhibit is on display at the CWU Museum of Culture & Environment from September 27 – December 9, 2023.   


Animal Model: How a Tiny Worm Helps Us Understand the Human Brain

C. elegans, commonly referred to as the nematode, is a microscopic worm that lives in soils all around us. But scientists like CWU Biology professor Lucinda Carnell also grow C. elegans in their labs, since this tiny worm can be used as an “animal model,” a proxy for the human brain. In this exhibit, we learn about why C. elegans has been so important to neuroscience research—and how some of this research happens within our own university! Feb. 15, 2023-Dec. 9, 2023 (a College of the Sciences “Window on Central” display)

Check out our online exhibits! Explore our collections! Check out our Facebook and Instagram!

 Three students from the CWU Museum Club install their 2019 exhibit Thanks for the Memories.

Students from the CWU Museum Club install their 2019 exhibit Thanks for the Memories.

The CWU Museum of Culture & Environment resides on land ceded by the Yakama people in 1855. We must respect and take care of this land and all that comes from it. The Yakama people continue their relationship with the land to this day, offering gratitude and stewardship. We acknowledge that the Museum and the collections we steward came to be at CWU because of the many complex legacies of colonialism. And we acknowledge Indigenous CWU students, past, present, and future.


Museum of Culture & Environment

Central Washington University
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7544

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