From the Director's Desk - February News

February 23
A Note from John Mayer, Executive Director

In this e-newsletter you'll read about upcoming programs with dates for your calendar, our 2017 membership drive, grant funding from Mass Humanities, and a few museum happenings.

Program Plans 

Gradually our 2017 program calendar is taking form and shaping up nicely. There are still events to develop and details to confirm for others.  We will keep you informed as details are set.

Our first event of the season will be a "History on Tap" program at the restaurant Crave (located in Amesbury at 32 Elm St.) on Monday, April 3 beginning at 5:30 pm. The event will focus on the ongoing industrial survey of Amesbury and feature several of the project volunteers who will showcase different findings.  Be prepared to experience their enthusiasm and learn about carriage makers, engineering features, industrial power and more.  The event offers a chance to launch our season and reconnect with our community.

On April 13 at 7 pm in the Amesbury CIty Hall auditorium, Philip Winn, vice president of the Project for Public Spaces (a NYC planning group), will present an interactive program, "What if we built Amesbury around Places? - Discovering and Activating our Shared Spaces."  Philip will introduce the concept of "Placemaking" as a valuable tool for city development and an essential aspect of city life.  This will be the second Bailey Family Lecture and is free and open to the public.  Visit for more information about placemaking!  This will be a provocative and engaging program.  We hope to see you there.

Watch the newsletter for more information about these and other programs.

The 2017 Membership Drive

February is "membership month" and renewal letters were mailed on Wednesday, February 22.  In advance, thank you for renewing your membership!  (And just in case you were not a member - you can join by visiting our website -

You'll see our individual membership rates have increased to $25 and we've added a family membership for $35.  These decisions were not made lightly.  We greatly appreciate the support of our members and hope you are pleased with the steady development of the museum!  I hope you agree - the greatest benefit of membership is the confidence you are supporting our programs and satisfaction from involvement in our community.  

Collections Cataloging project 

As a museum, one of our most important responsibilities is the care for our collection of objects. And yet in our 30-plus years of operation there has never been a comprehensive catalog of our holdings.  To address this need we submitted a Research Inventory grant application to Mass Humanities.  We have just learned our project was fully funded!  Support from Mass Humanities will provide funds to cover the costs of museum assistant Berni Angelo to research and catalog our collection of 35 vehicles, and for the first time ever, we will bring our collection together in one central storage area.  The knowledge gained from this project will help us develop exhibits and refine our holdings.  It is a critical step towards improving our museum operations.  Our collections cataloging project will begin on April 1.

I am proud to say...this program is funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment of the Humanities.

Other museum notes

The Carriage Museum will be well represented at the 30th Annual New England Conference on Industrial Archeology.  The conference is on Saturday, March 4 at Clark University in Worcester. Board member Susan Koso will speak about "The Rise and Fall of Turnpikes in New England," and I will provide an update about the Amesbury Industrial Survey.  The program is open to the public but registration is required. For more information visit

Thanks to volunteer Ron Klodenski and Board member Meghan Petersen, we are working to increase our web and social media outreach.  Additional e-news letters are in the works and we are adding content to our website and Facebook pages.  Please reach out with any questions or suggestions. 

Our website -
Our facebook page -

John Mayer
Executive Director
(978) 834-5058

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