From the Director's Desk - May News
A Note from John Mayer, Executive Director
Thanks to some gentle feedback we realized our registration fees were too high, so we have lowered them. Now whenever possible, museum members will be able to participate in events for free and non-members will pay a nominal fee.
We hope this will allow as many as possible to participate in our events while at the same time encouraging membership with the museum. Our goal is to develop an organization that is valued, builds support and membership, and inspires you and many others to explore Amesbury history.
Aperture on Amesbury – a Photographic Walking Tour
On Saturday May 20 starting at 9:00 am and ending at noon, local photographer Tim Gurczak will lead a walking tour of Carriage Hill. With support from Industrial Survey member, Mike Harrold, the tour will visit locations once part of Amesbury’s carriage industry.
The tour is free for members; for non-members registration is $10. Space is limited – so be sure to register today! Register on line.
Behind the Scenes – Brief Notes and Progress
With a grant from Mass Humanities, we are completing the first-ever catalog of our carriages and sleighs. At the same time, we are improving our storage area and the way the collection is organized. It is a very interesting project and we are learning much about these objects.
Our curriculum project funded by the Amesbury Education Foundation will begin at the end of June. The project – A Museum Without Walls – is designed to connect students to Amesbury history.
A workgroup is exploring new features for our website. Over the summer we plan to introduce a new design and more historical content to our users.
Program planning is ongoing and includes collaborations with several local organizations. The Mayor’s Car Show on June 25 will feature a carriage display in the millyard and new walking tours. Our September tour will explore engineering features on the Merrimack River.
These different activities are building a foundation for the Carriage Museum and moving us toward our goal to develop a physical location.
Supporting the Museum
We are nearing the end of our spring membership drive. Thanks to the many of you who renewed your membership or joined as new members. We are very much a community project and your membership is a reflection of the value we provide to Amesbury.
Financial support also comes from donations to our annual fund. At the end of 2016, one generous gift significantly reduced our deficit. The gift was not expected! Our donor simply said they believed in what we were doing and wanted to make a gift that would make a difference.
With an eye to the future, the Board recently established a very modest endowment fund that is managed by the Essex County Community Foundation. We see an opportunity for this fund to grow through bequests and planned gifts. For many organizations an endowment provides operating support and ensures a core scope of services. Learn more about planned giving.
If you are not a member – why not join us? More about membership. If you are interested in supporting our programs in some other way, please contact me or reply to this email for more information.
I am very encouraged by our progress. And I am grateful to all of you for your interest and support.