The English Fund Has Been a Game Changer
– and an inspiration to other donors
As many know, the New Haven Museum is a very fortunate beneficiary of the trust established by the late Richard L. English at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. The trust was established such that the Museum would receive an annual contribution based on the Community Foundation’s yearly policy along with the other beneficiaries.
What does this mean for the Museum? Historically, the museum has struggled to keep operating expenses from exceeding revenues. To continue operations, the Museum had to defer much needed maintenance on the building, reduce staffing levels, and limit exhibitions. The English gift has allowed the Museum to begin prioritizing and implementing a maintenance and improvement plan for the facility (for example, the re-pavement of the parking lot, necessary repairs made to the drainage system underneath, and the critical window restoration project now underway). Staff hours have been extended, and in the current fiscal year we hope fill a collections position. Probably most exciting, the Museum has been able to mount exhibitions such as Beyond the New Township: Wooster Square, the Nothing is Set in Stone: The Lincoln Tree and the New Haven Green, and the current exhibition From Clocks to Lollipops: Made in New Haven.
Even so, the Museum’s budget continues to be tight. It will take many years to complete the maintenance that is currently required, let alone keep up with the day-to-day wear on the facilities. Exhibition space remains limited; storage areas are overcrowded. Funds are still needed to obtain appropriate storage facilities to allow the museum to utilize the exhibit space the way it was intended as well as to procure the collection management software required to catalog the existing collection.
The Museum is very proud and grateful for the support it has received from our members and the community. A new vibrancy is evident in the exhibits, and community involvement, but to sustain the momentum and to grow its ability to provide education and exciting experiences to our constituents, old and new, the Museum will continue to depend on the generosity of our members and the Greater New Haven Community.
Let’s build on the English Fund.