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Grateful for Grants

November 23, 2020 Published By Julie Arrison-Bishop

During this time of partially shuttered operations, The House of the Seven Gables is extremely pleased to acknowledge the receipt of three important grants. The grants include: a Nonprofit Resiliency Grant from Essex County Community Foundation; a Mass Humanities CARES Grant and a National Endowment for Humanities Grant. Together these grants contribute to the Museum’s continued and improved operations.

According to statements by Executive Director Kara McLaughlin in a recent Time magazine piece, historic house tours and gift shop sales generate up to 80 percent of the operating revenue for The Gables. Absent a large percentage of those funds because of the pandemic, The Gables is among scores of museums that must devise creative, often virtual experiences for now. Their goals are to remain viable and present in anticipation of a complete re-opening once the community’s safety is more secure.

This summer and fall, The Gables opened its gardens and grounds to visitors and is now exploring ways to stay open in the winter months. In late summer the Museum held A Twist on the Taste — a virtual adaptation of its annual Taste of The Gables fundraiser. The Museum continues to host live-streamed events and has launched new 3D and virtual house tours. The Gables’ website — http://www.7gables.org — has more information. In addition, The Gables recently collaborated in the production of two fun and novel narrated walking tours in the historic Gables’ neighborhood. One of those tours is led by a virtual Nathaniel Hawthorne and is available here: https://www.intramersive.com/hawthornes-shadow.

Behind the scenes, The Gables has put the grants to good use by organizing and digitizing its archives, providing salaries for staff and installing an updated, integrated customer tracking and analytics system.

More about the grants:

  1. Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF) — Nonprofit Resiliency Grant Program: $5,000

These funds are being used to assist in the implementation of a new integrated system that includes Point of Sale (POS), a Customer Relations Management system (CRM), financial tracking and wealth analytics.

  1. Mass Humanities CARES: $10,000

Funding from Mass Humanities has been provided through the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020.

The unrestricted funds from Mass Humanities allowed The Gables to follow best preservation practices. The funds made it possible for The Gables to paint the exterior of two historically significant buildings on its campus. The work directly advances the Museum’s vision to preserve, share and continue the American Story.

  1. National Endowment for Humanities (NEH): $102,434

This aid is meant to bolster a spectrum of activities in the humanities through 2020, from preservation and access projects, digital efforts and scholarly research. The Gables used this funding to both preserve and provide greater access to their archives. The Gables plans to release much more information the archives work a little later in November.

The grant is part of the NEH CARES Act economic stabilization program. These grants support essential operations at more than three hundred cultural institutions across the country. The NEH was created in 1965 as an independent federal agency. It supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the NEH and its grant programs is available at neh.gov.

 

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This post was written by Julie Arrison-Bishop