2023 Rising Stars: Meg Yevara

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Meg Yevara (Photo by Bryan Oller)

By Sarah McMahon

Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum Program Coordinator Meg Yevara delights in bringing local history to life. With a decade of experience with CSPM, Yevara has been integral in expanding programs and crafting a place for the community to come together in scholarship and wonder.

“Our museum is a way for us to locally connect, so that’s one of the joys of my role,” she says, “and I think what’s unique and special about local history is that we can look at the national narrative through a local lens, which creates that empathy and shows the power of our local history.”

Yevara works closely with museum curators and directors to create robust programming for anyone to enjoy. “Meg works to communicate the messages and themes of our many exhibits through gallery tours, school programs, walking-tours, trivia nights, a robust scholarly lecture series, a virtual lunch-time learning program, and opportunities for all ages to learn and connect at and through the CSPM; she brings our history and culture to life in a meaningful way,” says Leah Davis Witherow, curator of history at CSPM, and one of Yevara’s nominators for this award.

“Through her work helping to make history a part of all of our lives, she inspires us all to create a great city,” Witherow says.

Yevara, a Springs native, studied at Colorado College to earn her first degree in cultural anthropology. This degree would take her to Washington, D.C., with Americorps, and that led to other opportunities to work for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.

“I just wanted to come back and be in my community.”

But being far from home made her miss the mountains, and she had to come back. “I just craved the mountains,” Yevara says. “It felt like there was a big hole in my heart, and I just wanted to come back and be in my community. My family’s here. And we’ve been here for many generations. It’s just a really special place.” She plans to stay and raise a family here with her husband Joe Yevara.

Since she’s been back, she’s found many ways to engage with the community, including her current volunteer position on the Friends of El Paso County Nature Centers board.

“As a Museum Board member I have seen the result of Meg’s positive impact on the community through her highly professional impact at the Museum reflected in improved training opportunities for the museum volunteers, developing broad-based community educational programs, new successful special events, cultivating opportunities for youth in museum camps and docent programs, and by creating new, standards-based educational programs that appeal to teachers and students,” writes Nancy Stone Bernard in her nomination of Yevara.

At the museum, she works in her team to build programs for all ages, with an emphasis on making a space for people to connect with each another and explore factual information and primary and secondary sources from our community.

“It’s been such a pleasure to see people engage with topics, ideas and information in a way that they probably haven’t since high school,” Yevara says. “After you’ve gone through school or college as an adult, it’s harder to find these places that challenge you and ask political questions and just present the facts. It’s a very social experience.

“I am brought to tears through some of these experiences,” she says. “CSPM is a type of community center. And I do this work as part of an incredible team that inspires me each and every day. I couldn’t do it without them.”

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