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Visitors enter the High Desert Museum during a 40th anniversary celebration at the High Desert Museum on Friday, May 27, 2022.Ryan Brennecke/The Bulletin

For 40 years, people have visited the High Desert Museum in Bend and left with a sense of discovery, a flash of joy, a newfound connection to the land, its people and its past.

It’s the emotional response felt at the High Desert Museum that keeps people coming back, said Dana Whitelaw, the museum’s executive director. And it is all thanks to the vision of the museum’s late founder, Don Kerr, who after being told ‘no’ countless times, persisted and eventually brought his vision to reality.

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