NHM 2008 Strategic Plan by Williamhosley

VIEWS: 7 PAGES: 21

									                   New Haven Museum & Historical Society




                           Strategic Plan for 2008 – 2012
I. Executive Summary:
The key to achieving the New Haven Museum’s strategic plan is in our ability to provide exciting
and inspirational programs, a more dynamic web presence, a more compelling visitor experience,
more pro-active school and academic services and a stronger spirit of openness, leadership,
collaboration and civic involvement.

We will accomplish this through discipline, hard work, and openness to change with a spirit that
radiates generosity, effort, courage, and civic-mindedness.

II. Mission, Values & Vision:

Mission Statement:
To increase knowledge, stimulate inquiry, and foster appreciation for greater New Haven’s
heritage and cultural environment.

Vision Statement:
The New Haven Museum aspires to be the city and the region’s premiere catalyst for the use of
history, art and scholarship to generate ideas and engender values that foster engagement and
stewardship of our locality.

Tag Line:
Making Past & Place Present in Our Lives

Values
Knowledge of the past prepares us to be better and more engaged citizens by deepening our
insight and widening our perspective about the places where we live and work. Awareness of the
cultural and physical environment encourages responsible citizenship, sustains community, and
leads to cultural and economic betterment. We believe that consciously informed use of heritage
is essential to civilized life.
III. Introduction:
During it’s almost 150-year history, New Haven’s Historical Society (founded as the New Haven
Colony Historical Society, now doing business as the New Haven Museum) weathered ups and
downs, engagement and retreat, accomplishment and disappointment.. In its first quarter century,
the Society moved three times. When it seemed destined to homelessness, its trustees considered
transferring the collections to the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford. However, at that
point, Henry Fowler English, stepped in and built the English Memorial on Grove Street (the
Society’s first real home). To accommodate the expansion of Yale University, the Society
relocated to its current headquarters on Whitney Avenue in 1929.

Today, the Society is again at a crossroad.
 Our operating structure is not sustainable, and in fact, has not been for some time.
 We have a large and handsome facility that needs expensive capital improvements.
 Our Library needs technological modernization and a new sense of mission and purpose
 The Society & the Library are not sufficiently known in the community.
       Although beloved by a core constituency, we are not widely known nor are we attracting
   a depth or diversity of community involvement.
 The visitor’s experience needs transformation and overhaul

We need to create a strategic business model that is substantial enough to revitalize our income,
secure our buildings, and heighten our relevance to New Haven and Connecticut. Also, our
obligations under the National Arts Stabilization Program compel the Society to adopt a fast-
track process. We intend this to be a living document. Details and adjustments will emerge
continuously.

As we embark on this challenge, we should keep in mind that the informed use of history and
cultural heritage is essential to civilized life and community. In our community, we can
confidently assert that THE museum OF New Haven is, and should, remain the primary purveyor
and conservator of our civic patrimony, one of the oldest and most storied in America.

With this strategic plan, the trustees and staff of the New Haven Museum invite the city and
region to collectively embrace our challenge of maintaining our continuing presence and our
work.

Central to this plan are the following goals:

Goal One
Achieve and maintain financial stability.

Goal Two
To be the educational leader in public history and experiential learning in the New Haven
region through popular. relevant and inspirational school and adult public programming.

Goal Three
Grow and sustain our research library by leveraging increased usership and scholarship to
attract new and ongoing sources of revenue and support.

Goal Four
Increase awareness and involvement with the New Haven Museum, locally, regionally.

Goal Five
Improve the everyday visitor’s & user’s experience in the museum and research center and
enhance the access to our collections and intellectual resources. Make the museum and research
center a refuge for localism and authenticity.

These goals will require significant growth and change in our institution. As community
awareness of New Haven’s Museum grows, our programs and message must reach a broader
audience. We will need to communicate what we do more effectively, and we will need to listen
to, analyze and connect with the concerns and interests of our prospective audience. To do this,
more people must be brought into our circle of members and supporters. Our staff, the board of
directors, and our invaluable volunteers will need new skills. The base of all of this will be
expanded financial resources, which we plan to improve through increased annual and capital
giving, estate planning, grant support, earned income, and more.

IV. Organizational History:
Founded in 1862, as the New Haven Colony Historical Society, the Museum is the second oldest
historical organization in Connecticut. Its founders were important civic figures, including
Roger Sherman Baldwin, John Warner Barber, Charles English, Leonard Bacon, Thomas
Trowbridge, Charles Ingersoll, Henry Pardee, and Henry Bronson. After years of temporary
housing, the Society moved in 1893 to Connecticut’s first historical organization building to be
built specifically for the purpose – the Governor James & Caroline English Memorial on the
Grove Street site of Silliman College at Yale.

In 1929, to accommodate Yale University’s expansion, the Historical Society relocated to a
larger facility designed by architect Frederick Kelly, a Colonial Revival masterpiece where the
organization continues today.

In the 19th century, the Society played a pioneering role in advancing the cause of Connecticut’s
African-American heritage by publishing and promoting the events associated with the Amistad
rebellion and subsequent trial in New Haven. We published the first historical account, “The
Captives of the Amistad” in our house Journal in 1886. In 1898, we published the first account
of the phenomenon of the “Negro Governors,” an early and path-breaking expression of socio-
political aspiration by Connecticut’s 18th century enslaved African-Americans, and in 1934 we
helped launch African-American studies in Connecticut by publishing Mary Mitchell’s “Slavery
in Connecticut and Especially in New Haven.” The museum acquired the crown jewels of the
Amistad story, including the portrait of “Cinque,” which is now on display with a richly
evocative account of this key event in America’s journey from slavery to freedom.

Early in the 20th century, the Museum was influenced and led by two of Connecticut’s civic
visionaries, George Dudley Seymour and William S. Pardee. They were progressive-era
antiquarians and activists who achieved great things through their involvement in preservation,
the development of urban parks, and the elevation of historical research. During this period
Donald Lines Jacobus, based in our research library, helped launch and invent the modern
practice of genealogy.

Collections grew as the facilities expanded. Archives, artifacts, rare treasures and works of art of
local relevance and importance poured in through the years, making this one of the top five
repositories of Connecticut art, artifacts and manuscripts in the State.

Important collections include: The Arnold Dana scrapbooks – an astonishing lifelong work that
helps make New Haven the best documented city in Connecticut; the Edmund Sinnott collection
of New England Church Architecture; the Alan Ludwig collection of gravestone studies; New
Haven Urban Redevelopment Agency photographs; and numerous other collections of
manuscripts, archives, photographs, fine and decorative arts.

The Museum was founded to represent the full, multi-dimensional experience of life in New
Haven and the region as defined by the original geographic limits of the six towns (New Haven,
Guilford, Milford, Stamford, Branford, and Southhold, LI) that comprised the New Haven
Colony. Practically speaking, Long Island and Stamford (now in Fairfield County) are no longer
a focus. The City of New Haven is our primary, but not exclusive, focus. Our holdings of
material associated with Branford, Guilford, Milford, the lower Naugatuck Valley towns and
towns like Hamden and East Haven that branched off from New Haven are substantial.

Originally the focus was largely on the region’s Pre-Revolutionary and Revolutionary era history,
as reflected in its earlier name The New Haven Colony Historical Society. Following a pattern
observed at most American historical organizations, decorative arts became a substantial
collecting focus from the 1920s-80s. The Society now strives to embody the extreme eclecticism
of our age absorbing events and influences with great fluidity and resourcefulness to cover a
diversity of periods, cultural groups and phenomenon in a range of media from decorative arts to
costume, industrial artifacts, locally made products and works of art. This change is reflected in
our new name the New Haven Museum & Historical Society. Given New Haven’s prominence in
the American urban/industrial age (1850-1950) – collecting places a strong emphasis on artifacts
that document this place in those times. Of particular interest are artifacts that document the
industrial work place and its workers and products.

Inside our walls, generations of scholars and students have connected with America’s past
through the New Haven experience. Today, we look forward to deepening our role in our
community’s public affairs by fostering engagement with and appreciation for our urban and
regional heritage (past and present).

V.     Analysis of Our Environment: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats

                                            Strengths:
Authenticity
      The modern world is like a formal garden where everything is planted and
      arranged for effect, where nothing is untouched, where nothing is authentic. And
      what is the most authentic of all? The past. The past is unarguably authentic. The
      past is a world that already existed. . . The past is real . . . People want to visit not
      just other places, but other times . . . and they don’t want it to be fake. They don’t
      want it to be made pretty, or cleaned up. They want it to be authentic.
      – Michael Crichton, Timeline (1999)

Uniqueness
Our advantage in New Haven is that we are the only museum with a mission centered
exclusively on this place. We are also the only historical organization in Connecticut with
research and program facilities, collections and that displays all under one roof in the
downtown of a major Connecticut city that also happens to have the largest student
population in the State. Moreover, we are within walking distance of a cluster of
nationally-significant cultural attractions, and we have on-site parking!

Usership & Audience Potential
Our audience consists of: a) engaged residents; b) students from elementary schools through graduate
school; c) teachers, and faculty at local institutions of higher learning; d) funders aligned with our
mission and the betterment of this city, region and state; e) tourists drawn to New Haven for various
reasons; and f) families and businesses with roots in the city and region. Together they represent an
astonishingly rich base for the Museum. We have work to do cultivating all fronts, but the potential
is there.

A) Engaged Residents
People who make time to savor the treasures and opportunities – social, intellectual, and
recreational – in their own back yards, are the most likely to join, attend programs, and support
what we do. Engaged residents are the lifeblood of any group or society. They are also the key
drivers in determining what visiting friends and relatives (the most important segment of
Connecticut’s tourist industry) do when they visit. The key is engagement – and we believe the
key to that are life-learning experiences involving hands-on, in-depth activities and public
policy/issue-oriented programs that address contemporary human concerns.

From this audience we will form and engage affinity groups: scholars, specialists, readers,
collectors, social activists, preservationists, environmentalists, artists, writers, community-
builders and others with ties to specific aspects of what we have or do. The key isn’t to be all
things to all people, but to forge deeper ties with those most inclined toward or in need of a
connection with our work, mission, and civic values.

B) Students
In recent years, school group visitation has grown, deepened, and touched a wider array of
schools, from area colleges to city and suburban elementary schools. Students participate in
programs at NHM; museum teachers bring programs to schools; and students use the museum
and library resources for research and class projects. College students work in all departments of
NHM as volunteers, interns and work study students, assisting with specific projects and learning
about the world of museums. This is one of the most important roles a civic museum can
perform: connecting young people to history as well as to the place where they live.

C) Teachers & Researchers
Our education department organizes workshops for teachers that introduce them to the
opportunities at the museum & library. Project Pipeline (a current strategic initiative) aims to
“grow the flow of scholarship” by making research opportunities and resources better known via
our web site and through digitization and marketing of these resources.

D) Funders Aligned with our Mission and the Betterment of this City, Region and State
We have recently augmented our information about potential upper level donors, foundations,
state agencies and businesses with an interest in this city and region. There are also national
foundations, dedicated to the goals of our mission, offering support for specific programs.

Today’s donors are concerned about how an institution interacts with its community. Developing
a reputation that transcends “history” for its own sake and connecting our work with social
service, aid to at-risk children, urbanism, the environment, civic engagement, citizenship,
education and tourism – will enhance the Museum’s success with grant applications. We are also
giving special attention to working with our local universities (Yale, SCSU, UNH, Albertus
Magnus) and the City of New Haven. We consider them all key stakeholders, and prospective
partners in our restructuring effort.

E) Tourists
Primarily because of Yale, New Haven has more downtown visitation than any city in
Connecticut and may have more visitors outright than anywhere other than Mystic and the
casinos. New Haven increasingly has all the attributes of a dynamic walking city with many
things to see and do – including restaurants, performing arts venues, public programs and
distinctive retail outlets.

Yet downtown visitation has substantial untapped potential. Augmenting New Haven’s appeal as
a destination city must be a city-wide civic priority. Preliminary discussions about a New Haven
Cultural Tourism Initiative suggest possibilities. The New Haven Museum could be the point of
entry for a “New Haven experience.” Our “New Haven Illustrated” exhibit already offers an
introduction to the city and region. More coordination and collaboration among the various
entities involved with marketing and tourism services would pay substantial dividends.

F) Families & Businesses with Roots in the New Haven region
There are several million individuals and families across the nation with root ties to the New
Haven area. These include people who grew up here and moved away, children and
grandchildren of people who did, or people descended from founding families who are conscious
of a family history linking them to New Haven. This also applies to businesses – some like CW
Blakeslee Construction and Giordano Brothers Monuments that have been in continuous
operation for a century or more, and others, like Winchester and Peter Paul Candies that are
gone, but not forgotten in our collections. For them, New Haven (which will celebrate its 375th
anniversary during the Museum’s 150th) is a place of beginnings, legend, and allure. They
represent an important potential base of membership and support for the Museum. Cultivating
this audience will require a special initiative we can begin through our web site and by forming
New Haven Colony Root Ties e-message network.

On Staff, Vision & Being Small: Small is the NewBig!1
One of the New Haven Museum’s greatest strengths is its small, but tenaciously dedicated staff.
Adaptability, resourcefulness, public-spiritedness and generosity are in evidence every day here.
The NHM is also blessed by a large and dedicated group of volunteers, who assist in every aspect
of the museum, from running the gift shop to assisting the curator, librarian, director and
educator. Although our staff members are currently paid less than those in comparable roles in
Connecticut’s better-provisioned museums (of which there are at least 30), few perform better.
It’s a truism that the highest value is frequently delivered by smaller organizations. The staff
believe the New Haven Museum is important and adds value to the community. In fact, small
museums with operating budgets under $500,000/year are the stewards of perhaps half the
nation’s cultural patrimony.

Our assertion that small museums can go toe to toe with organizations ten times their size and
produce experiences and services that rival the best is based on study of hundreds of museums
and cultural institutions of varying sizes. All across Connecticut, every region of New York and
New England, and elsewhere from Maine to Georgia, we have witnessed real excellence (and
some train wrecks, to be sure) among small museums. Again and again, we’ve found that small
museums excel in conveying a feeling of authenticity that is typically lost in over-developed and
commercialized settings. And yet everything from the priorities and procedures of granting
agencies and foundations to tourist marketing presumes – incorrectly we contend – that bigger is
better.
                                         Weaknesses:
There are many areas of functionality here that are not adequately covered by the staff. We
TRY to compliment our weaknesses through the use of free-lancers and volunteers – our
present finances making it impossible to do otherwise. Notably, we are currently lacking a

1
  Small is the new big! As Seth Godin explains in his best-selling book, Small is the New Big and other . . .
Business Ideas (2007) “Small is the new big because small gives you the flexibility to change the business model
when your competition changes theirs. . . .Small means that you can answer email from your customers. . . .A small
law firm or accounting firm or ad agency is succeeding because they’re good, not because they’re big. So smart small
companies are happy to hire them. . . . A small restaurant has an owner who greets you by name. . . . A small
venture fund doesn’t have to fund big bad ideas in order to get capital doing work. They can make small investments
in tiny companies with good (big) ideas. . . .Small is the new big when the person running the small thinks big.”
The “think big / work small” approach to innovation is already happening in education. Inspired by the work of
legendary education reformer Ted Sizer (Yale ’53; also son of Theodore Sizer, Yale Professor of the History of Art
(1927-57) and Yale Medal winner (1961)) the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's richest philanthropic
organization, “wants to use small to transform America's urban high schools.” (See
http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/19_04/gate194.shtml)

The Place-based Education Partnershipn that the New Haven Museum is embarking on with partners from the
Peabody Museum and several public and private high schools, is based on the premise that an emphasis on “small”
and “place,” by orienting learning to the locale and environment, will give New Haven’s young people an intellectual
and emotional grounding in community that we believe will prove transformational.
curator, a position that is essential to fill if we are to continue our high level of exhibits.

Our building is not emitting welcoming signals as strongly as it needs to. It doesn’t
immediately appear to be a museum or something public and inviting. Kitty corner from
Yale’s mysterious and distinctly non-public secret society Berzelius, first-time visitors
sometimes ask whose mansion this was or “if this is a secret society,” a bewildering
impression compounded by the fact that, for years, the New Haven Colony Historical
Society (as it is still widely known) acted like a private society. This is something to
overcome. And yet over the past eight years the board and staff, spanning two directors
and several board presidents, have persistently and deliberately moved in the direction of
greater access, openness, responsiveness and inclusion. Changing our approach has
required changing our culture, our structures and some of our personnel.

Our programs and outreach have lacked dynamism and contemporary relevance; both in
what they were and in how we communicated them. While New Haven teachers and
school children consistently rave about their experiences with our programs and services,
our core adult audience was been cultivated inadequately.

First-time visitors accustomed to better lighting, more contemporary and tech-savvy
exhibitions, and more sparkle and pizzazz quickly notice that our gallery displays are old-
fashioned and don’t change much. This is, in part, because we placed undue emphasis on
changing exhibitions before insuring that the everyday visitor experience was electrifying
and brilliant – an outcome easily, but expensively, achieved. We need to do both and we
need to put the first impression first by making the visitor experience as compelling and
inspirational as New Haven’s history is.

For too many years “the Colony,” as it was affectionately known, was viewed as the exclusive
enclave of a privileged minority. Despite successful overtures to involve the New Haven Jewish
community beginning a full century ago and the fact that, because of our unique and authentic
ties to the Amistad story, this organization has been publishing and preserving African-American
history longer than almost any historical organization in the country. Nonetheless, there is still a
sense of exclusion that we must overcome by increasingly radiating inclusion, openness and the
ability to listen and welcome dissent. A local teacher who loves history recently confided with us
that an experience here with a group of city school children 30 years ago, convinced him never to
come back, despite his personal belief that connection to local history is indispensable. Being
welcoming isn’t just about letting people of all backgrounds in the door. It’s about our ability to
be congenial and engaging to a wide spectrum of ages, values, and backgrounds. Our director of
Education, Jennifer White-Dobbs, I have witnessed, is extraordinarily good at just that – a model
emulate.

Structurally, it must be acknowledged that the New Haven Colony Historical Society, like many
volunteer and quasi-volunteer run organizations, traditionally functioned with strong committees
but a weak center and an executive director whose ability to harmonize operations and finances
was not easily reconciled with competing needs and expectations. Decisions were not always
made with deference to or awareness of the overall good of the organization, something that
planning and the greater discipline embodied in this document aim to rectify.

Additional weaknesses include insufficient patron/member/donor information and database; lack
of staff expertise in some key areas, time for fundraising and insufficient ongoing funds for
building needs.

This plan represents the strongest consensus on centralized planning, structure, transparency and
deference to commonwealth in the institution’s history. It’s a posture this community has never
seen from its museum before and it has the potential to be transformational.

                                      Opportunities:
The heritage community needs a stronger and more proactive identity and we need to affirm that
we also provide “social service.” Beyond food, shelter, and healthcare, it is hard to imagine a
greater service than imparting a sense of connectedness and belonging.

Opportunities abound. The opening passage about “authenticity” identifies a societal trend that
promises to reverse trends that have worked against us. New Haven, from Yale, the Knights of
Columbus and the Mayor’s office, to the business and arts communities, is solidly aligned in an
effort to increase New Haven’s reputation as the best walking city in Connecticut and a beacon
for urbanism and re-urbanization. The environmental and social consequence of neglecting the
urban challenge has damaged and will continue to damage Connecticut’s competitiveness and
economic stability. The Governor’s office is also telegraphing this message.

Historical organizations – which are conduits for and repositories of authenticity and civic
identity – are part of the glue that binds and sustains civic well-being and growth. We not only
must participate, but can lead in efforts to impart civic values to efforts in education, tourism,
business recruitment and more. As the New Haven Museum is recognized for adding value in
these spheres, our appeals for support will be more fully met.

In some cases this may require challenging traditional assumptions by advocating for experiential
learning (and field trips) in public school education; emphasizing local content and resources in
education and civic marketing; and by asserting that this city’s historic resources are an essential
ingredient of a walking city and should be the centerpiece of New Haven’s tourism and
marketing initiatives.

Another opportunity involves reforming the traditional view of "cultural policy" that
automatically defaults to the narrower definition of "the arts." So long as State and municipal
policies and programs exclude historic sites from the general operating support offered to the
tourism, arts organizations, libraries and historic preservation organizations with which our
mission is closely aligned, we have every reason to advocate for reform.

                                             Threats:
Our cities, which house the crown jewels of our civilization, have been diminished and isolated
by demographic trends amplified by bad public policies. New Haven’s heritage has great wealth.
But the one institution devoted to preserving and presenting it does not. Our resources have
declined even as demand for our services has risen and the authenticity and uniqueness of our
niche in cultural affairs has skyrocketed.

The crisis afflicting post-industrial cities everywhere is especially severe in Connecticut, a fact
aggravated by public policy and governance structures that are anti-regional, anti-central, and
antithetical to long-term environmental concerns and sustainability. The crown jewels of
Connecticut’s civilization were, for 150 years, concentrated in urban hubs like New Haven which
no longer has the capacity to sustain them, despite the absurdity of trying to replicate them in one
suburb after the next.

New Haven has a challenge sustaining its current array of cultural organizations. The corporate
and resident donor base has diminished. Support for heritage has remained static while the allure
of the arts, virtual and commercial entertainment has grown. Our current and potential audience
and users are tempted by a mounting array of attractions and distractions – substitutes that
compete for their time and attention.

Fragmentation:
We face rising competition within our sphere that includes suburban historical organizations;
organizations specializing in historic preservation; and niche initiatives that divert funds away
from centralized, general purpose organizations like this. We believe in small and in trying new
things. But the proliferation, over the past 30 years, of ill-conceived museum start-ups and new
competing cultural initiatives is unprecedented in our state and nation’s history. It’s increasingly
unsustainable and until we restore our capacity to accept limits and make choices, these divisions
will continue to chip away at the strength and viability of the whole cultural matrix.

“The Yale factor” makes New Haven unique in ways both helpful and challenging. The quality
and quantity of public programming and opportunities for high-end intellectual enrichment, arts
and entertainment are perhaps greater here than in any city this size in America. It’s an
extraordinary (and underdeveloped) opportunity to make this city and region a Mecca for affluent
retirees, a destination for tourists, and a place for national and international gatherings. But
Yale’s prolific public offerings, most available for free or at substantially below cost, make it
difficult to compete on the basis of content alone. We must also compete on price which means
forgoing earned income in an environment where sponsorship opportunities are also limited.

What’s Already Been Done To Improve the Situation:

Community Collaborations
Develop new public programs that galvanize discussion while working collaboratively in ways
that tap and connect multiple audiences. An example are the New Haven Heritage Salons, multi-
dimensional programs that combine food for thought and body with learning and discussion
involving dialogue between experts and audiences. Last year’s Salons on Church Architecture &
Preservation and the Centennial of City Planning in New Haven attracted statewide audiences
and statewide news coverage (see appendix). Our recent New Urbanism Film Festival, (three
weeks into it, the program had attracted close to 600 web citations from more than 40 media
outlets) is doing the same and the recent Salon on New Haven “hometown heroes” Karen &
Richard Carpenter attracted statewide coverage.

Redefine Staff Structure & Functions
We’re redefined the role of curators and librarians to achieve greater openness and access, use,
engagement and entrepreneurship. We have also revitalized volunteerism attracting many new
people serving in a wide array of roles and responsibilities. Increasingly, the staff will see their
roles as both facilitators and doers, whose end service will often involve getting work done
through volunteers and affinity groups. We will form affinity groups that enjoy working with
photographs, collections, event planning and hospitality, gardens and grounds maintenance,
cataloguing and collection management, painting and installing galleries, Connecticut literature
book discussions, marketing and membership, and more.

Several of the most effective historical organizations in Connecticut are entirely volunteer-run.
Our challenge is to foster and channel the kind of energy and exuberance that comes out of a
social group dynamic and reconcile it with staff roles and responsibilities.

Place-based Education Partnership
Place-based education is an educational model with roots that go back over 100 years. Place-
based education emphasizes learning through participation and reinforces the connection
between the classroom and the local environment in which the students live.

New Haven is ideal for this type of learning. Its compact urban environment is accessible and
underutilized. NHM has several goals for the Place-based Education Partnership. We have
assembled a team that includes public, private, and charter school teachers, education colleagues
at the Peabody Museum and the leading practitioners and theorists of the movement, who believe
that New Haven has the potential to become a national model for demonstrating the role of PBE
in addressing the learning needs of urban youth where poverty, preparedness and economic and
social isolation are issues.

Project Pipeline: The Whitney Research Library Scholarship Outreach Initiative

Project Pipeline (now substantially funded privately and underway), which aims to keep the
“pipeline of new ideas growing and flowing,” will bring up-to-date and translate Ottilia Koel’s
Guide to the Manuscripts and Archives of the New Haven Colony Historical Society (1988) into
a web-based tool that inspires awareness and use. Although a small amount of our photographic
material is included in the Connecticut Online web site, 95% of our photographs, possible the
largest civic collection in the state, exists on the wrong side of the digital divide. A parallel goal
is to develop an improved guide to our extensive photographic and architectural drawing
holdings and digitize a sampling to provide a compelling sense of what we have and what might
be done with it. Accomplishing these projects will foster more and better scholarship on the
history, arts, and material culture of the greater New Haven region and enable the Museum to be
a conduit for more and better public programs and exhibitions, thereby stimulating the growth of
new ideas.

VI. Institutional Strategies
                                                          Lead Staff &
                                                                           Start
           Goals, Objectives & Actions                       Board                    End Date              Status              Budget
                                                                           Date
                                                           Committee
 Goal One: Achieve and maintain financial
 stability.
Objective A: Grow General Operating Support
     Action 1: Evaluate Annual Appeal and year end         Development
                                                                           5/1/08                                                time
     challenge projects; revise as necessary                  Staff
     Action 2 Launch a business membership                 Development
     program                                              Communication   5/1/2008                                               3000
                                                              Staff
     Action 3 Increase membership income 15%                               6/1/08     11/01/09       Leadership identified
                                                           Development
     annually                                                                                         Planning initiated
                                                              Staff
                                                                                                     Promotional material
     Action 4 Evaluate Seal of the City event and                                                     Explore alternative
     revise as necessary                                                                            methods of identifying
                                                           Development
                                                                          5/1/2008    9/1/2008            honorees               time
                                                              Staff
                                                                                                   Consider alternative event
                                                                                                          strategies
     Action 5 Explore collaborative relations and
     cost-sharing with Yale, Southern, City Board of       Development
                                                                                                      Special reference to
     Education, University of New Haven, Albertus           Programs                  In process
                                                                                                            library
     Magnus, Quinnipiac & the New Haven Public                Staff         2007
     Library
 Objective B: Grow Earned Income
     Action 6: Increase shop income by developing              Staff
     new products and e-marketing strategies                Volunteers
     Action 7: Expand facility rentals                                                             Review Strategies with La
                                                               Staff        2007       4/15/08
                                                                                                           Cuisine
 Objective C: Institutional Discipline
     Action 8: Create a culture of fiscal discipline,      Treasurer        2007       ongoing
     transparency and accountability                         Staff
     Action 9: Develop comprehensive facility use,                          2008                        Roof and cupola
     development, space planning and maintenance            Facilities                               complete. Space use
     plan with cost projections                               Staff                                   plan needed prior to
                                                                                                    further cost estimating.
     Action 10: Augment governance around the              Executive &      2008        2009
     goals of this plan                                    Nominating
                                                             Director
     Action 11: Adopt board giving expectations and      Executive Comm     2008
     incentives                                              Director
     Action 12: Develop protocols and procedures
                                                              Staff
     for measuring membership, attendance,
                                                           Accountant
     donations, earned revenue and investment                               2008
                                                            Treasurer
     income
      Action 13: Adhere to a spending policy of 5.5%        Executive                   2008/
     three-year rolling average                             Committee                   2009
     Action 14: Install appropriate software, research         Staff
                                                                            2008
     and update donor files                                 Volunteers
                  th
 Objective D: 150 Capital Campaign &
 Endowment
     Action 15: Create Development Advisory Panel          Development
                                                            Co-Chairs     3/17/2008   4/30/2008    Commitments obtained
                                                             Director                              from 5 people
                             th
     Action 16: Develop 150 Campaign strategy,             Development
     marketing materials and goal                         Communication     2009
                                                             Director
     Action 17: Identify and cultivate prospective         Development
     donors with reference to strategic initiatives          Director     3/17/2008   6/30/2010
                                                          Staff
                                                     Advisory Panel
    Action 18: Develop “ask” strategy & training      Development
                                                     Advisory Panel   3/17/2008    6/30/2010
    Action 19: Develop Government Affairs process                                                Create Advisory Panel
                                                                      3/17/2008    6/30/2010       State agencies or
                                                                                               lobbying arms we’ve dealt
                                                                                                    with include: CT
                                                     Development
                                                                                               Commission on Culture &
                                                       Trustees
                                                                                               Tourism; CT State Library,
                                                       Director
                                                                                                   CT Department of
                                                                                                  Education, DEP, and
                                                                                                   related Legislative
                                                                                                      Committees
Objective E: Develop & Fund Strategic Initiatives
    Action 20: Sell some non-essential assets         Collections
                                                       Director         2008
    Action 21: Increase grant support for general
                                                        Director
    operating and programmatic functions by 50%                       3/17/2008
                                                         Staff
    over 3 years from 2006
    Action 22: Identify and prioritize Strategic
                                                       Director                                    Numerous already
    Initiatives designed to be self-sustaining and
                                                     Development                                      available
    appealing to current and prospective funders.
    Action 23: Develop corresponding prospectuses      Director         2007       5/15/.08
                                                     Lead Staff &
                 Goals & Actions                        Board         Start Date   End Date             Status              Budget
                                                      Committee
Goal Two: With compelling and inspirational
programs for schools and through civic
outreach and adult public programming,
become the premiere educational leader in
public history and experiential learning in the
south / shoreline region of Connecticut.
    Action 1 Conduct a revenue/expense analysis of                                             Conduct plan in time to
                                                       Education       4/15/08      5/30/08
    our education programs                                                                     prepare for 08-09 budget
    Action 2 Evaluate and make improvements to
                                                       Facilities
    current education center and auditorium spaces                                             Conduct in concert with
                                                       Education        5/1/08                                              70,000
    to enhance program opportunities for all                                                   budget analysis
                                                        Director
    audiences
    Action 3 Develop multi-audience programming                                                Relate to plans in Goal 5
    related to changing exhibitions                    Education        4/5/08                 for exhibition
                                                                                               improvements
    Action 4 Seek new and additional sources of
                                                         Staff         ongoing
    grant support
    Action 5 Increase recruitment and training of
                                                         Staff
    Museum Teachers and interns
School Programs (K-12):
    Action 6 Launch the Place-based Education          Education                               Planning to begin spring
                                                                       4/30/08
    Partnership                                         Director                               08 – late fall 08
    Action 7 Develop city-wide partnership with
    New Haven Public Schools to allow greater        Development
    access and awareness of programs and             Govt Relations    ongoing                 Seek annual cost share       25,000
    opportunities for students and to sustain our      Director
    ongoing edu operations
    Action 8 Increase school use and visitation by                                             Begin with 08-09 school
                                                       Education       8/30/08
    15% annually from 2007                                                                     year
College Programs:
    Action 9 Attract broad-based college student
                                                       Education       8/30/08                 Target fall 08 semester
    involvement
    Action 10 Engage Yale Colleges in freshman          Director                               Current connection with ?
                                                                        3/1/08
    orientation                                        President                               college, others to be
                                                         Education                             added
   Action 11 Implement a New Haven/Museum                                                      Planning done in 08,
   Studies Internship/Fellowship program for              Director       7/1/08     8/30/09    implement program for         35,000
   college students                                                                            summer 09
Adult Programs:
   Action 13: Create program series with branding
   potential and identify core program themes
                                                         Education
   (such as urbanism, public policy, collections and                     2007        5/1/08
                                                          Director
   collecting, historic preservation, ethnicity and
   fostering sense of place)
   Action 14 Increase current program quality &                                                Begin with next newsletter
                                                            Staff
   quantity and develop annual calendar of public                        4/5/08     ongoing    cycle and plan for 12
                                                         Volunteers
   programs                                                                                    month calendar.
   Action 15 Augment services for life learners                          7/1/08     ongoing
Youth & Family Audiences:
   Action 14 Increase opportunities for
                                                         Education       4/5/08
   intergenerational audiences
   Action 15 Increase program opportunities for
                                                                                               Begin with programs for
   after-school, church, scout and other youth           Education       5/1/08
                                                                                               summer 08
   audiences
                                                        Lead Staff &
                 Goals & Actions                           Board       Start Date   End Date            Status               Budget
                                                         Committee
Goal Three: Sustain and improve research
library by leveraging increased usership and
scholarship to attract new and ongoing sources
of revenue and support.
Increase Usership & Value
    Action 1. Launch Project Pipeline to augment         Director &     6/15/08     6/15/09    One year position.           $30,000
    scholarship and get more educational resources       Librarian
    online.
     Ibid.                                                              6/15/09     9/30/09    Develop online database      $20,000
                                                                                               for material selected.
    Action 2. Rejuvenate civic scholarship                  Staff       ongoing     ongoing    Market library resources
                                                         Volunteers                            Develop relationships with
                                                          Trustees                             scholars and academic
                                                                                               institutions. Annual
                                                                                               “Teach the Place”
                                                                                               receptions
    Action 3. Provide mechanisms for the                  Director      ongoing     ongoing    New Haven Heritage
    dissemination of new scholarship in New Haven        Librarian                             Salons & related opport-
    studies.                                             Education                             unities for researchers to
                                                                                               present their work
   Action 4: Evaluate usership and apply                 Librarian       2008
   cost/benefit analysis to prioritize usership           Board
   development
Operations
   Action 5. Reevaluate form and functions of the           Staff       ongoing     ongoing
   research center                                      Collection C
   Action 6. Merge collection & research resources        Director,     ongoing     ongoing
   to create efficiencies in user access                  Librarian
                                                       Board Members
    Action 7. Augment access and use of                   Librarian     ongoing     ongoing    Provide more access and      $7,500
    photograph collections.                              Collections                           clarity for photograph
                                                                                               patrons.
    Action 8. Computerize library catalog                Librarian     As funded                Retrospective Conversion    $80,000
                                                                                               of 30,000 items in the       Ongoing
                                                                                               current self list.           annual
    Action 9. Renovate reading room to make more         Librarian     As funded                Re-wiring the electrical    $50,000
    technologically functional.                                                                connections & other
                                                                                               improvements
   Action 12. Secure offsite storage for less used         Librarian       ongoing                Explore depository and
   library materials                                                                              transport arrangements
Sustainability
   Action 13. Evaluate Whitney Library Associates          Librarian       5/15/08       8/1/08   Goal to net $5k/year
   and revise form and functions accordingly                 WLA                                  inclusive of staff time and
                                                                                                  program expenses
    Action 14 Form a statewide support network of          Director,        6/1/08      5/31/09   Develop advocacy
    Connecticut heritage research libraries.               Librarian                              relationship with State
                                                                                                  Librarian and CT Library
                                                                                                  Association.
    Action 15. Advocate for strategic initiatives and      Director,       ongoing      ongoing   Identify Legislative
    line item support. with State and Connecticut          Librarian                              committees and pursue
    Library Association                                    Trustees                               access to designated
                                                                                                  state funds
                                                         Lead Staff &
                 Goals & Actions                            Board         Start Date   End Date             Status              Budget
                                                          Committee
Goal Four: Increase awareness and
involvement with the New Haven Museum,
locally, regionally, and nationally
    Action 1: Develop an Image, Communications          Communication     6/1/08       12/30/09
    and Marketing Plan and present for Board
    approval
Volunteers & Affinity Groups:
    Action 2: Conduct analysis of existing              G. Arons, Board   3/17/08      5/1/08     Initiated 3/20/08
    membership; numbers, levels and demographics         Member and                               League of Women Voters
    Summarize Member Survey                                   staff

    Action 3: Develop effective trustee committee           Board          4/10/08      5/20/08
    structure                                               Staff

    Action 4: Expand and define volunteer roles and         Staff           2008
    responsibilities                                       Trustee
    Action 5: Launch affinity groups to participate         Staff           2009
    more actively in such areas as library and
    archives, museum teaching, facilities and
    grounds, program hospitality, scholars
    exchange, photography and more
    Action 6: Aggressively develop collaborative             Staff         ongoing                Including: Yale Peabody
    partnerships with organizations aligned with                                                  Museum, Amistad
    aspects of our mission                                                                        Committee, Gilder-
                                                                                                  Lehrman Center for the
                                                                                                  Study of Slavery, Friends
                                                                                                  of Grove Street Cemetery,
                                                                                                  Arts Industry Coalition,
                                                                                                  Connecticut Trust for
                                                                                                  Historic Preservation,
                                                                                                  Network for Civic
                                                                                                  Engagement, Greater
                                                                                                  New Haven Convention &
                                                                                                  Visitors Bureau, Yale
                                                                                                  Center for British Art.
                                                                                                  1000 Friends of
                                                                                                  Connecticut, CT League
                                                                                                  of Historical Orgs, CT
                                                                                                  State Library
    Action 7: Develop Root Ties Initiative               Development        2009
                                                           Director
                                                        Communication
    Action 8: Develop volunteer recruitment plan            Staff           2008
    Action 9: Develop protocols and programs for            Staff           2008
   volunteers
Communications Technology
    Action 10: Develop improved content-rich web        Communication      2009                  Any chance a business or     60000
   presence with expanded access to photographs            Staff                                  agency would sponsor
   and archives                                                                                            this?
                                                                                                 Earmark for New Haven?
   Action 11: Expand e-messaging and group list             Staff                                      In progress
   capability
   Action 12: Develop a compelling content-rich         Communication      2008                        In progress
   newsletter; accessible via pdf web site                 Staff
   Action 13: Improve media relations and visibility       Staff                                       In progress
Image Analysis & Development
   Action 14: Focus group analysis of current and          Moret           2008
   prospective audiences                                    Staff
   Action 15: Recruit key influencers with skills and    Nominating        2008
   passions keyed to the plan as trustees                Committee
                                                         Community
                                                         Foundation
    Action 16: Create an audience-focused culture           Staff                                        ongoing
    that draws people together for civic expression
Policies & Values
    Action 17: Affect climate of opinion and public        Director                                      ongoing
    policy to support of cultural heritage                 Trustees
    Action 18: Advocate for cultural tourism               Director        2007                  Need Mayor & Yale New
    partnerships and initiatives for New Haven             Trustees                               Haven Affairs support
    Action 19: Develop government relations                Director                                 Need to establish
    strategy and public policy advocacy positions          Trustees                                    advocacy
                                                         Lead Staff &
                   Goals & Actions                          Board        Start Date   End Date           Status              Budget
                                                          Committee
Goal Five: Improve the everyday visitor & user
experience and access to collections and
intellectual resources.
Visitor Service:
    Action 1 Foster a welcoming climate of helpful      Office Manager                                   ongoing
    service, collaboration, neighborliness and          Vol. Committee
    generosity
    Action 2 Improve visibility and general             Communication                                                         $5000
    appearance through increased curbside appeal,         Facilities       7/1/08                Design & Install exterior
    enhanced signage and way-finding                       Director                                     banners
Exhibition Improvements:
    Action 3: Address storage issues to enable            Director       4/15/08      6/15/08    Project Iceberg Phase I     $30,000
    former galleries to reopen and more collections      Collections
    to be displayed
    Action 4 Update, enhance/reinstall current           Collections     9/15/08      9/15/09       Project Iceberg II       $100,000
    exhibitions
    Action 5 Introduce interactive components and        Education       9/15/08      9/15/09       Project Iceberg II       $100,000
    new technology to all installations                  Collections
    Action 6 Develop compelling new changing
    exhibitions
                                                         Collections     10/15/08     ongoing
    Action 8 Improve lighting                            Collections
                                                          Facilities
                                                                         4/15/08      ongoing
Collections Management & Resource Access:
     Action 9 Improve user access and services for        Librarian
     research center and library resources               Collections
    Action10 Devise strategies to make the museum
    a premiere civic social gathering (“third place”)      All Staff
    destination in New Haven
    Action 11 Revitalize collecting activity              Librarian
                                                         Collections
                                                                         3/30/08      ongoing
Action 12 Make collection storage areas                      Summer
accessible attractive, useful and engaging                    2008

         VIII. Conclusion:

        The vitality of cities, historical perspective, and civic engagement have declined in recent
        decades to the point where we no longer have a strong civic ideal and where the responsibilities
        of citizenship are muddled and confused. Turning this around has never mattered more. The
        work must begin at the local level, right here and now. We believe a sense of place and history is
        a critical ingredient in that process. The convergence of issues, concerns and opportunities facing
        our cities and nation clearly signal a need for change. Environmentally and culturally, urban hubs
        remain indispensable. Their existing infrastructure provides necessary resources that cannot be
        successfully duplicated along the suburban spokes. A wheel without a hub falls apart. The
        downside to ignoring the environmental impertinence and social injustice of geo-economic
        segregation is inescapable.

        The notion that design, sense of place and civic involvement, American values and citizenship
        are each, in potentially vital ways, conveyed, imparted, preserved, fostered and transmitted by
        organizations like the New Haven Museum, is clear and compelling.

        We need to regain the initiative and recapture relevance in a changing world by transforming the
        museum into a catalyst that fosters urbanism, regionalism, state pride, and civic engagement.
        Specifically we must fulfill the needs and expectations of the City, State and neighboring
        universities to bridge gaps between town and gown, past and present, city and region to make
        New Haven a beacon for urbanism, community and civic renewal.

        Appendix I: Board Committees & Structure
        Executive & Nominating
        Strategic Planning
        Governance & Human Resources
        Finance Committee
        Facilities & Real Estate
        Development & External Affairs
        Image, Marketing & Communications
        Collections & Programs?
Appendix II: Current Strategic Initiatives
(Prospectuses available. Naming opportunities include program and facility enhancements)

Museum Long-Term Gallery Installations                                        Estimated $
                                                             nd
*Project Iceberg (storage improvements, restore access to 4 2 floor galleries
  closed since 1970s, Improve New Haven & the Sea and Art for New Haven
  galleries noted below)                                                       $175,000
New Haven & the Sea Gallery                                                   ($50,000)
Art for New Haven Gallery                                                     ($80,000)
New Haven Then & Now: Reconstructing the City through Photographs (new media) $30,000
Amistad & New Haven’s Journey of Freedom                                      $43,000
New Haven Illustrated – remodel and add tech components                       $75,000

Special Exhibitions & Related Programs
**Saving Our Cities/Saving the Land: Visualizing the Effects of Sprawl on CT        $150,000
*Patriotic Sisterhood: Women & the Preservation of Connecticut’s Heritage          $160,000
Making Art/Making Place: Contemporary Art & the Search for Community               $75,000
*Gun Valley: Tech Arsenal of the Industrial Age                                    $175,000
**Facing Differences: The Ethnic Reshaping of New Haven, 1850-1980                 $150,000
Picturing New Haven: Photography & Urbanism (Benj English Coll)                    $40,000
Winter Wonderlands: Christmas in Connecticut/Urban Vistas                          $45,000
*Talking Heads: Art/History at Grove Street Cemetery                               $65,000
Social Activism & Philanthropy in New Haven, 1825-today                            $85,000
*Keeping Faith: Church Architecture & Historic Preservation                        $26,000
       * high impact public image, ** national news/ high impact public image

Community As Curator Series Exhibitions
The following list represents organizational collaborations under discussion. Items not yet
specifically budgeted, but even modest exhibitions involving research, development and
programming will cost upwards of $30,000

Hillhouse High 150th - history & reunion
Hopkins School’s 300th in 2010
Elm City Parks / Parks
Community Foundation of New Haven anniversary with United Way
       & Red Cross on Civic Philanthropy
New Haven City Plan Centennial, 2010
YWCA History
Women’s Seamens Friends Society 150th Anniversary Program & Exhibits

Education Programs
*Afro-Conn-Centric: A Festival of Connecticut Black History & Culture (prog)       $15,000
*Making Sense of Place: A Seminar for Sustaining Communities (symposium)           $15,000
Connecticut’s Role in American Religious Thought                                   $12,500
New Urbanism Film Festival II (film series)                                        $6,000
Going Home: Our Past in Pictures (lecture series)                               $1,500
Connecticut Architecture (lecture series)                                       $1,500
Connecticut Explorers (lecture series)                                          $1,500
Making Sense of Place: Rediscovering Connecticut’s Treasures (lecture series)   $1,500
Storybook Republic: Connecticut Icons (lecture series)                          $1,500
Book Lover’s Paradise: New Haven Libraries (open house & tour)                  $3,500
Major Initiatives
New Haven Place-Based Education initiative – pilot & planning                   $32,000
Coordinate New Haven’s 375th Anniversary Events, 2013                           $150,000

Facilities
Auditorium makeover and tech upgrade                                            $60,000
Parking lot restoration                                                         $15,000
Windows Restoration                                                             $50,000
Lighting Improvements                                                           $20,000
Pardee-Morris House revitalization and endowment                                $2,000,000
Signage and Façade Improvements                                                 $50,000
Shop & Exhibition Prep Improvements                                             $7,500

Scholarship & Research
Project Pipeline (library & research center web access & marketing project)     $60,000
New Haven Studies Internship Program $35,000/year start up $25k successive      $35,000
Digitization of Library Catalog                                                 $60,000

Appendix III: Naming Opportunities – Endowment Development
      The idea is to give prospective donors the opportunity to put their
      name to spaces, program functions or personnel – as a way to build
      endowment. This is not to cover the entire cost of developing or fully
      maintaining any of these things, but to make them sustainable and
      excellent. (In many cases pledging an equivalent income stream can
      accomplish the same thing - $50,000/year to “Name” the library =
      $1,000,000 in restricted endowment)

Spaces
New Haven Research Center (Library)                                             $1,000k
New Haven Illustrated Gallery                                                   $300k
Changing Exhibition Gallery                                                     $500k
Amistad & America’s Journey of Free Gallery                                     $300k
New Haven and the Sea Gallery                                                   $200k
Art for New Haven Gallery                                                       $200k
Program Auditorium                                                              $200k
Digital Imaging Lab & Research Center                                           $75k
Professional Expertise
Executive Director                                                              $750k
Curator & Collections                                                           $500k
Programs & Education                                                              $500k
Librarian & Archivist                                                             $500k
Programs
New Haven Studies Internship Program                                              $200K
Culture & Community: New Haven Schools Program                                    $400k
Backyard Tourism Series                                                           $75k
Lecture Series                                                                    $100k
150th Anniversary; Unrestricted Endowment Gifts and Bequests:                     $3,000k
                                                           Total:                 $8,800,000*

   This, plus current endowments, plus income from reliable restricted funds would be
   transformational and secure the organization in perpetuity. If one family or individual was
   willing to do the entire $8,000,000 – would the board be willing to rename the entire
   organization something like the Jane Doe Center for New Haven History & Art for a high
   profile, high-functioning major downtown landmark practically on the campus at Yale
   University.

Appendix IV: Board List, 2008
Attached

Appendix V: Staff Bios

William Hosley joined the New Haven Museum as Director in 2006. He was formerly the
Director of the Antiquarian & Landmarks Society where he cared for a statewide chain of historic
attractions throughout Connecticut. For 17 years prior to that, Hosley was a curator and
exhibition developer at Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, where he organized major exhibitions
including: The Great River: Art & Society of the Connecticut Valley (1985), The Japan Idea: Art
and Life in Victorian America (1990), and Sam & Elizabeth: Legend and Legacy of Colt's
Empire (1996). Bill, is a preeminent figure in Connecticut history, historic preservation and New
England studies, a prolific writer, and an expert on heritage tourism and cultural resource
development. He brought Connecticut stories to audience in every corner of the country and has
worked as a content specialist for PBS, CPTV & BBC. Hosley is a graduate of Middlebury
College with an MA from the Winterthur Program.

Jennifer White-Dobbs is Director of Education at New Haven Museum where she restructured
the school workshops; provides lectures, tours and workshops to audiences of all ages,
collaborated with area organizations on web-site, teacher professional development and after
school programs, improved visitor orientation at the Historical Society and developed on-site
family activities. Ms. White-Dobbs has extensive museum education experience, creating
programs for school groups, families and adult audiences at institutions including Heritage
Museums and Gardens in Sandwich, Massachusetts and Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, New
Hampshire. Ms. White-Dobbs has a B.A in Anthropology from the University of Maine and a
M.A. in Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program.
James Campbell has worked at the Whitney Library since 1988. He brings academic training
from the University of Connecticut, Yale, Westminster Theological Seminary, and Southern
Connecticut State University. Prior to entering the library field, he worked in banking. Mr.
Campbell has training and experience in both library science and archives and manuscripts. He
is deeply committed to public service, especially keen on providing bibliographic instruction to
students from Yale and other area colleges and universities. Recognizing the significance of
modern technologies, he secured funding for and supervised the work of a project to digitize a
unique scrapbook collection which has encouraged much great use of this significant resource.
He is involved in professional and academic organizations.

								
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