With summer on the horizon, and fall in the not too distant future, lots of exciting things are happening at your Museum of History! I want to tell you about a few.
First, the North Carolina Museum of History Associates is pleased to announce the appointment of William “Billy” Wilson as its new Executive Director. Many of you who already know Billy understand what a terrific advocate and leader he is for the Museum and the Associates. For the past five years as associate director, he has been instrumental in planning and executing numerous exhibit openings and fundraising on behalf of the Associates. Many of you who have attended the annual spring Frolic in April, the Associates’ major fundraiser for the Museum, know that it has Billy’s imprint and creative genius at work. In his new role, Billy will lead the Associates’ efforts to grow and diversify membership across the state. Billy was chosen from an extremely competitive field of applicants, and he will bring energy, enthusiasm, creativity, and continuity of leadership to the Associates.
Second, thanks to the hard work of board chair, George Lennon, the Associates will sponsor a trip to the beautiful Hudson River Valley area of New York on Sunday, September 16 – Friday, September 21. The trip will include visits to important historic sites in the region, including Kykuit, Sunnyside, the Franklin D. Roosevelt home, and Val-kill, Vanderbilt Mansion, West Point, and Boscobel. Optional time in New York City is also available. Participants will also have the unique opportunity to enjoy “southern hospitality at its best” with a visit to Edgewater and with one of the most notable preservationists of our time, North Carolina’s native son, Dick Jenrette.
Third, Associates are in the process of publishing a high quality cookbook that capitalizes on our unique history as a state, and we are grateful to Charlie Silver and Betty Anne Lennon, who will serve as cookbook co-chairs and help guide us through this process. We are looking to create a statewide network of contacts to help with recipe collection, marketing and promotions of the cookbook. We need your help, and we want your recipes, too!
This is membership season, and we are in “full swing” with membership renewals. Several members of our statewide board of directors came in to help sign and personalize letters for the campaign which was helpful and appreciated. Planning has also begun for the fall series of Museum Days. The first one in the 2012-13 year will be in Blowing Rock on Friday, August 10, at the lovely home of Carol Dabbs, mother of Terry Lewis, who is an employee in the Museum shop. We are also in the process of setting goals for membership growth over the next year, which will be ambitious but achievable.
If you are out and about this summer, please join the Associates for a Garden Party, celebrating the new outdoor exhibit, “History of the Harvest” on Tuesday, July 10, from 5 until 7 p.m. This event is co-sponsored by the Museum of History and Syngenta. RSVP to Emily Grant by Friday, June 29, Emily.firstname.lastname@example.org or 919.907.7979. Check the Museum’s website often for other programs of interest to adults and children, www.ncmuseumofhistory.org.
Interim Executive Director