In these times of uncertainty, change and unrest, museums and historic sites serve as signs of order and provide information, perspective and community solidarity. They are the storehouses of our past and the resources for facing future concerns. However, these same museums and historic sites are now threatened with closure - possibly permanent - due to the effects of the pandemic.
As John Dichtl, President and CEO of the American Association of State and Local History, writes in a recent blog, "Despite Americans’ urgent need to forthrightly engage with the past, however, many history institutions are on the brink of collapse. Struggling to reopen after months of closure, historical organizations find themselves confronting mounting financial challenges and an increasingly uncertain future."
Adding to the economic stress are civil discord and the effects of climate change. Historical institutions are critical resources for evaluating and confronting the issues of our time, yet they are starving.
Dichtl adds, "As many as 90 percent of museums worldwide closed during the height of the pandemic and only a few are now beginning the process of reopening. The International Council of Museums has predicted 1 in 8 museums currently closed may never reopen. Earlier this spring, the American Alliance of Museums predicted it could be as many as 1 in 3."
Now is the time to support the local and regional museums and sites that preserve our heritage, our culture and our identity. The Old Fort Steuben Project has provided historical, educational and cultural programs to the community, to the tri-state region and to visitors from further afield. We NEED your support whether by membership or donations, as do other organizations in our area. Every little bit helps!
To read Dichtl's entire article go to: https://aaslh.org/save-museums-to-make-history/