Friday, December 18, 2009

Season's Greetings

This time of year marks a number of different holidays for people of all religions and cultures.

It also marks an important time of year for the Laurel Museum. The end of December traditionally marks the closing of our exhibit and the final stages of planning for our upcoming exhibit.

This year is no different. Today is the last day to see our current exhibit, "Shake, Rattle 'n' Roll: Laurel in the 1950s". This exhibit was the first exhibit I took part in for the Laurel Museum.

In some ways, I am sad to see it go. No more poodle skirt figurines will greet me as I walk in the door each morning. No longer will I have nostalgic 50 (and 50 something) high school reunions coming back to point out all of their friends in our exhibit.

But sometimes change is good. So as we look forward to the New Year and our new exhibit I am excited about several things:

1) Our new exhibit was planned with the help of several community groups. We looked to different places of worship and service organizations to helps us identify what Laurel is like today. Along the way we met many new friends. I hope we can continue to maintain these relationships in the New Year. If we do, it will benefit us and I hope the community groups we worked with.

2) Our new exhibit is going to be much more interactive than our last. One of the things we realized in our 1950s exhibit was that people wanted to give back. People wanted to contribute their memories, their life stories to our exhibit. We had a function for that--a story book--but it led us to realize that there is so much more than we can do. So with this exhibit, you'll find that there are a number of ways you can interact and contribute to the exhibit.

3) Our new exhibit will continue to grow as it stands in the Museum. I don't want to give too much away, but our exhibit won't be static. Because of people's contributions throughout the year it is up and because we will be changing certain things, our exhibit won't be the same for the entire year. And that in and of itself, is exciting.

So, if you haven't seen our current exhibit, try to stop by in the next 3 hours. Or give me a call and arrange for a tour before we take it off the walls in January. Either way, please join us in looking forward to our next exhibit.

Oh, and we finally settled on a title for the next exhibit:

Snapshots in Time: Our Community in 1910 and 2010

Friday, December 4, 2009

Holiday House Tour

Some things that take place at the LHS are done with very little supervision on my part. I greatly appreciate those times when I know something is being handled by a capable volunteer and all I have to do is check in from time to time.

One such instance where I've been able to sit back and relax is the Holiday House Tour. The Tour, a bi-annual tradition for the LHS, is taking place this year.

I know that a number of our volunteers have been VERY hard at work arranging the Holiday House Tour. One family in particular has done a lot for the house tour this year. The mother in this family is the chair of the Holiday House Tour Committee and she has worked very hard since last spring to plan the House Tour.

She has changed several aspects of the tour, including one wonderful new idea: expanding the sponsorship opportunities available to local businesses. In thinking of this idea, she has done exactly what we want all of volunteers to do: consider development as a part of their undertaking, not just the board's.

Now, we won't be buying a new building with the money she has pulled together, but it is a considerable amount. Furthermore, it was only made because she thought outside the box. Of course, she was thinking outside the box while still juggling all of the responsibilities of the House Tour Committee chairmanship. And she has done a wonderful job in both instances!

The house tour takes place on December 12. We have a number of exciting places to visit (all of which are a secret--shhhh!). I hope some of you are able to join us. Come see what our new chair has changed and what classic aspects of the tour have remained the same!