Friday, September 3, 2010

Historic New England to Celebrate Sarah Orne Jewett’s Birthday

The annual celebration of Maine author Sarah Orne Jewett’s birthday will take place on Sunday, Sept. 12, from 4-6 p.m. at Historic New England’s Sarah Orne Jewett House. Besides selected readings from the author’s work and the ever popular parsnip cake, the event will feature the unveiling of multiple pieces of Jewett family furniture installed in the museum just in time for the birthday celebration.
“This year there is extra to celebrate – the permanent return to the house of Jewett’s writing desk and a number of other important pieces of furniture that were removed some decades ago,” said site manager Peggy Wishart. “We’re thrilled to have these pieces back and to be able to make adjustments to the furniture plans in several rooms to mirror the look of the house as documented in 1931 photographs.”
Historic New England conservator Michaela Neiro will give a brief illustrated talk about the furniture and the restoration work undertaken to make the pieces museum ready. Neiro will remain on hand to chat with visitors as they tour the house.
“The readings are the heart of this event,” said Wishart. “Jewett’s masterful use of dialect, playful sense of humor, and keen ability to capture the everyday of late nineteenth century life never fails to delight listeners.”
Refreshments will include a parsnip cake, a purported favorite of the author.
The Sarah Orne Jewett Celebration will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. on the grounds of the Sarah Orne Jewett House, at the intersection of Routes 4 and 236 in South Berwick. Admission for the event is $5 for Historic New England members and residents of the Berwicks, $10 for non-members/non-residents. Children under 12 are free. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling the Jewett House at 207-384-2454.
Photo caption: Sarah Orne Jewett at her writing desk - the same desk recently returned to the home and now on view. (Photo from Historic New England with permission of Harvard University Library)

Quimby Family Foundation Makes $40,000 Grant to OMAA

The Ogunquit Museum of American Art has received a $40,000 grant from the Quimby Family Foundation of Portland, Maine.
In applying for grant funding, Museum Director Ron Crusan noted that the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, with its location between greater Boston and Portland, is the only art museum that serves the population from northern Massachusetts through southern New Hampshire and southern Maine. The application further detailed efforts the Museum has made in achieving the goals of its Board’s 2008 strategic plan. These include efforts to increase the number of members, corporate partners and visitors, to raise awareness of the museum in the community and surrounding region and to enhance the visitors’ experience and programs.
The Quimby Family Foundation has agreed to fund the Museum’s efforts to improve the visitor experience, beginning with the development of a master plan for the OMAA building, grounds and parking. Funds may also be used for implementing that plan, particularly in the area of outdoor parking, lighting and signage and interior guest amenities including the replacement of the front desk and gallery benches.
In making the announcement, Hannah Quimby, member of the Board of the Quimby Family Foundation said, “Our board members have spent the last few months reviewing applications and making some very difficult decisions. Each year the grant cycle becomes more challenging as the amount of proposals increase and the economic climate remains challenging. The Ogunquit Museum of Art was selected to receive funding because your goals and mission most closely align with our foundation’s funding goals. We are truly inspired by the work that you have been doing in the state of Maine.”
Director Ron Crusan said, “We want to thank the Quimby Family Foundation for their foresight in helping the Ogunquit Museum of American Art achieve its goals. Broadening support through increased grant funding is essential for the future of the Museum, as is the actual planning for the future. This award helps the Board and the Museum do both.”

Lyons Named to MCHE Board

Dr. Charles Lyons, President of York County Community College, was recently appointed to the Maine Compact for Higher Education (MCHE) Board of Directors. The Maine Compact for Higher Education is a joint effort of the Maine Development Foundation and the Maine Community Foundation committed to raising educational attainment in Maine. Lyons was recently appointed to the New England College Council Board, also. (Courtesy photo)