Notes from the Director – March 2024

Staff and volunteers are busy preparing for our first Spirit Tour, the Solar Eclipse Watch Party, the Lecture Series, and the Chautauqua Regional Genealogical Conference and History Fair. The Spirit Tour for this month is sold out, so if you are interested in a Spirit Tour you will need to sign up soon for the next one on June 22. Our next event, April 8, is the Solar Eclipse Watch Party. The Watch Party will be held outside at our Hall House Research Center. Admission to the Watch Party is $3, party only, or $10 admission to the museum and includes the Watch Party. Parking is at the Fenton Mansion. We will have grilled hotdogs, hamburgers, chips, pop, and desserts for a donation. Our DJ will provide music all afternoon with special “eclipse tunes” at the appropriate time. Buy raffle tickets for a drawing to view the eclipse from the Fenton Tower. The day after the eclipse is our first lecture in the series at 1:00 p.m. in the Fenton Dining Room, which is a free event. You won’t want to miss the History Fair and Genealogical Conference at the end of April. The conference is $75 per person, which includes lunch and the History Fair with keynote speaker Caleb Abrams is free. You can register for events on our website, or come to the Fenton Gift Shop and register in person. By the way, we are selling certified eclipse glasses in the Gift Shop for $3, which is a small fundraiser for the Fenton History Center. You may also purchase them from our website.

The month of March brings us some staffing changes. The staff positions have been streamlined to help solve our budget and hiring issues. Our Archivist, Matthew Tsitso, will now serve as our Archivist/Curator, Tuesday through Friday. Matthew will be taking the Small Museum Pro classes for his Museum Certificate from AASLH to enhance his skills as our Curator. Our search for a new Curator brought several well qualified candidates, but when it came down to moving to Jamestown and the salary offered, we struck out. It made sense to promote Matthew and hire a part time Education/Program Coordinator. Heather Olson has taken the part time position as our Education/Program Coordinator. Heather has a B.A., Master of Landscape Architecture, and a M.A. in Art Education. She has experience as a teacher with middle school and high school students as well as teaching at the college level. Heather Olson will have one of her drawings featured in Jamestown’s ArtScape this year. We welcome her to the Fenton History Center!

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