Annual Appeal 2017
How can the Westport Historical Society, by its nature rooted in the past, remain relevant to the present needs of our community? How can an unfurnished historic house captivate a young child and yet engage an adult? Can we host exhibitions in the same space that provides a welcoming adventure to 300 excited young witches and wizards? Is it possible to create a place that an historical architecture aficionado, a summer tourist, or a long-time resident will each find meaningful and enjoyable? This year we have met these challenges head on at the Handy House.
The Handy House, with its robust visitor numbers and large scale vibrant events such as the Artisan Fair, is proof that historic house museums can play a valuable role in the community. By breaking the mold of established historic house museums, many of which offer a static object-centered experience, the Handy House has evolved into a place that enhances the cultural vitality of Westport and forges a strong connection to people of all ages.
With your support we will continue to expand upon our community outreach. Please consider a gift that will help us to sustain our momentum into the coming year. The diversity of our activities, extending far beyond the Handy House, is remarkable. We have introduced first-graders to the Macomber turnip, hosted family workshops on our maritime heritage, provided after-school programs focused on traditional handicrafts, and encouraged families to explore their town with Westport Summer Passport. Concurrently we have tackled questions of social justice at our Paul Cuffe symposium, launched an African American and Native American heritage trail and successfully organized our inaugural House Tour. Throughout the year, we have demonstrated excellence in reaching out to new audiences, breaking a few rules of traditional historic house museums, and embracing as many dimensions of the past as possible.
As a small non-profit organization with an increasingly large footprint and presence, your help is needed more than ever before. Our core mission remains challenging as our operating budget continues to grow along with our responsibilities. Your support for our annual appeal sustains many of the essential behind-the-scenes activities that form the foundation of our organization and mission: stewardship of our collection, maintenance of our two historic buildings, and funding for our dedicated staff.
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