From the Orcas Island Historical Museum
The Orcas Island Historical Museum has engaged with many community members and organizations since early December, and has taken many comments and suggestions with thoughtful consideration and serious self-reflection. We are working in concert with the Orcas Island Community Foundation (OICF) who has offered to assist us along with members of their Board who have special expertise in the areas of Board organization and Business planning.
The Museum Board is a group of lifelong learners who desire that the Museum be an interactive repository for our island’s history, as well as an education hub for people of all ages. As Board membership changes, we re-learn how to work together individually and as a group. That IS happening. Board meetings are held the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 4 p.m., and are open to the public. Comments and suggestions are heard thoughtfully and carefully. Our Board volunteer members individually and collectively have a love for the Island’s Museum and to see it open, visible to the community and a viable part of history for kids of all ages, our families and visitors. We work tirelessly toward that end. The Board is guided by its Mission and Vision; both are contained within this letter. The Museum is guided by a five year plan, which is currently under review.
Summer hours: Wednesday – Sunday from Memorial Day through early October; also Tuesdays July & August.
Please remember –The Orcas Island Museum is YOUR museum – a museum for the community and your family and relatives. As a collective body, we explore and plan for the future of our Museum, maintaining artifacts, collections and six homestead log cabins all located within the Museum. The Orcas Museum is a non-profit 501C3 organization, and operates with a vision, “To be acclaimed as the Island’s center for historical, genealogical and archeological research, and be a sustainable, secure and accessible repository for the artifacts and family histories which will keep our island’s past alive into the future.”
The Museum is a PRIVATE non-profit entity that sustains itself financially through memberships, donations from the community, fundraising and volunteer-written grants. We are also the recipients of San Juan County’s Lodging tax distributions which make up about 22% of our budget. Volunteer greeters keep the museum doors open Saturday during the winter and by appointment, and almost daily from late May into early October. If a person looks at that alone, it is amazing what the Orcas Island Historical Museum accomplishes – again, all by volunteers.
After the resignation of our Executive Director in early December, our former board president stepped back into the role to fill the void. Two new members have joined the Board, and we are seeking additional board members from the community, as well as new members and donors to sustain operations for now and for years to come. With recent significant staff reductions, the volunteers, including board members, bulk mail helpers, docents/greeters, local students and researchers have worked tirelessly on the plans and activities for 2013 and to maintain winter Museum hours. Maria Doss, our Archivist, is working to get all our museum artifacts properly documented and located within the Museum, in Past Perfect Museum software.
2013 Museum Plans
The Museum IS doing well and this year is proving to be a stellar year for the museum. The Calendar of 2013 events is in distribution. The February newsletter was delivered to all island residents. Exhibit Chair Denise Wilk is helping to arrange many Museum events and activities for summer in addition to chairing the exhibits committee –
The Museum serves as an important educational resource opportunity for history and art endeavors to the elementary, middle and high school students, as well as providing experiential learning opportunities for high school and college students, with Museum oversight to provide an excellent learning experience for the student(s).
We welcome a new face to the Museum, office administrator, Karen Meng, whose expertise includes office management, volunteer recruitment, publicity, publications, exhibits and more. Please drop by and introduce yourselves to her.
The Museum survives and thrives on Volunteer Help – and we still need lots more help now and for the coming seasons. We will match you with a position that fits your time constraints and meets your goals in life. Phone us, 360 376-4849
Thanks to all Orcas Museum Supporters — You make the museum live!
Volunteers—coordinators, docents/greeters, researchers, archivists, grounds, grant writers, event support and web design. Their talent, commitment, dependability and expertise literally keep the Museum ALIVE!
Members—Benefactors, Businesses, Families, Individuals, Seniors, Sponsors, Students, & Supporters. We thank each member not only for maintaining their memberships to support the Museum’s direct costs; many also volunteer their time and talent as well.
Donors—who have funded countless projects, programs and remain steadfast in support, despite unforeseen changes as the years progress.
Community Members on the whole, have dug deep into their generational roots here on Orcas Island and given much of the Island’s artifacts and still share their historical knowledge with the Museum, growing more collections of history here on the island.