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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