Napar Settlement Museum Board discusses plans for the Agricultural Interpretive Center
Naper Settlement Museum Board met Friday, March 18.
Here are the minutes as provided by Naper:
NAPER SETTLEMENT MUSEUM BOARD
March 18, 2016
1. Call to Order
Kristin Fitzgerald called the meeting to order at 8:05 a.m. in the Mayor’s Conference Room at City Hall.
Members present: Chris Birck, Kelly Meyer Douglas, Kristin Fitzgerald, Mary Ann Junkroski, Len Monson, and Sally Pentecost via phone after approval.
Members absent: Mayor Steve Chirico and Councilman Paul Hinterlong
Staff present: Debbie Grinnell, Terri Kostal, Harriet Pistorio, Macarena Tamayo-Calabrese,
Staff absent: Marcie Schatz
Motion to have Sally Pentecost attend this meeting by phone made by a motion of Chris Birck, seconded by Len Monson. Motion carried.
The minutes of the previous meeting of December 11, 2015, were approved by a motion from Len Monson, seconded by Chris Birck. Motion carried.
A. Naper Settlement Operating Plan Updated – This report was in the December 11, 2015 NSMB packet, but could not be voted on before the Naperville Heritage Society board meeting on December 14. Per the Mayor’s request, salary increases were synced with the City’s. Motion to approve the Calendar Year 16 Planning Assumptions and Budget as presented made by Len Monson, seconded by Chris Birck.
B. Financials from December 31, 2015 – Harriet Pistorio presented Naper Settlement’s financial report as of December 31, 2015 as detailed in the board packet. Revenue was ahead by $55,000, due to an increase in budgeted tax support. Several vacancies added to the savings in salary and benefits. Furniture and equipment was for the , ADA ramp at the Naper Haight House, to be reimbursed to NHS via a CDBG award now that project is completed (grant is reimbursement-based). Overall net surplus went into the fund balance and supports Naper Settlement’s operations until the next tax levy in May. Naper Settlement’s advertising has increased; the board is pleased with this and the high quality printed material. Dawn Hartman, Director of Marketing, is to be commended.
The financial report as of December 31, 2015 was approved by a motion from Chris Birck, second by Len Monson. Motion carried.
Board suggested that Naper Settlement try to get a link on Hotel Indigo’s site. Naper Settlement has already connected with Dave Miller, Managing Partner at Elements at Water Street, to collaborate on packages that would include weddings/rehearsals at the Century Memorial Chapel and other possibilities.
4. Old Business
A. American Alliance of Museums – Museum Advocacy Day, 2/21-23/16 - Rena travelled to Washington, D.C. to be part of Museum Advocacy Day and to promote Naper Settlement with federal officials. Some of the meetings attended were with the National Science Foundation, the Department of Forestry, and representatives from HUD (U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) who put us in touch with their Chicago contingency. Paper Settlement staff is aggressively pursuing federal funding through grants. We have good relationships with Senator Mark Kirk, Senator Dick Durbin and Representative Bill Foster. These connections are important when looking at IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services) and NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) grants. Kristin Fitzgerald recommended contacting Congressman Michael Quigley, the Illinois representative to the Appropriations Committee. Kristin agreed to assist in developing this relationship.
B. Visit from Laura Lott, President & CEO, American Alliance of Museums on 3/4/16 - The American Alliance of Museum’s new President & CEO, Laura Lott, came to visit Naper Settlement. Ms. Lott had never been to an outdoor history museum and we were one of the first five places she visited on her tour of museums around the country.
5. New Business
A. Naper Nights Concerts Series Line Up & History of Rock in August 2016 - All bands listed on page 10 of the board packet have been secured. Food vendors will be Kick’s Chicken Cafe, Sharko’s BBQ, and Carrabba’s Italian Grill. In August, an “80’s” weekend will be presented, with contests and giveaways and will incorporate social media. This will be a pilot project to see how we can incorporate history into the rock concerts.
B. 2016 Fundraising - Naper Settlement Takes Flight – Naper Settlement Takes Flight is this year’s Spring fundraising event. Food will be paired with history at five of the stops at Naper Settlement, bands will be in the “hanger” on the green, and there will be a few surprises. This event will replace our Wine & Dine dinner at Sullivan’s. The board suggested that in order to cultivate the under 40 crowd, possibly lower the price on the first 20 tickets or provide some other incentive to get a younger crowd involved. This will be considered.
C. Barn Raising Benefit – The Agricultural Interpretive Center concept book was distributed to the board members present. About two years ago, the Wheatland Plowing Match Association asked us to be the repository of their holdings, representing a 150 year history of farming in Naperville and beyond. Conceptual plans for an Agricultural Interpretive Center have been developed, with the purpose of capturing and bringing to life the rich farming heritage that was instrumental in building community and businesses in Naperville and surrounding regions.
The exhibit will be divided into three zones:
1. Farming as a Way of Life – Farm and town crate a community of interdependence in Naperville and beyond
2. Innovation on the Farm – Transformation in technology and communications changed American agriculture
3. The Farm as a Business – A successful farm requires attention to the business of agriculture
Each section will provide different interactive experiences, STEM opportunities, local stories and show key artifacts. The learning lab is a flexible space that can be adapted to specific groups, content and the methods of teaching and self-expression that will best serve a range of learning objectives.
After the Naperville Heritage Society’s Advancement Committee meets, there will be a report on fundraising for the Agricultural Interpretive Center. The NSMB also requested this information when it becomes available. Timing is somewhat dependent on the state, but hopefully ground can be broken near the end of 2017.
D. Pioneers to Mars Camp - The Pioneers to Mars Camp, July 25-29, for grades 6-8 is offered in partnership with the Challenger Memorial Space Center in California, and cost $395. The president and executive director of the Columbia Memorial Space Center grew up in DuPage County and fondly recalls his school field trips to Naper Settlement. Students at the space center will be connected with their peers at Naper Settlement. They’ll work together via videoconferencing and shared projects to organize a sustainable mission to mars. The students will learn about the role of farming in creating community, explore agricultural science and biofuels, study rocketry and space exploration – all STEM-based learning.
The camp will be at Naper Settlement, but will also be utilizing Benedictine University’s professors and graduate students to do different experiments in their labs. There will be trips to Argonne National Laboratory and BP. The Challenger Space Center will be partnering with Cal Tech. To cover a portion of our costs, we have applied for a Motorola Solutions foundation grant.
E. Grants – Internally we have restructured responsibilities. Harriet Pistorio will be the Chief Operating Officer. Donna Sack, starting April 4, will be the Vice President Community Engagement & Audience. Donna Sack was the past Executive Director of the Association of Midwest Museums, and has been named by Governor Rauner to the Illinois State Museum Board. Debbie Grinnell, Vice President, Advancement & Campus Development, will oversee building and grounds, capital construction, researching and applying for grants, and supervise the Development Department. Besides federal grants, other funding areas are being explored germane to change experiences at Naper Settlement, as well keeping in mind upcoming STEM and agricultural projects. Since
October, three grants have been written: IMLS – for conservation of the thresher, Dunham Fund – STEM High School Internship Initiative with District 204 and East Aurora District 131 high school students, and Motorola – Pioneers to Mars Camp.
There will be naming opportunities for the exhibits in the Agricultural Interpretive Center. Michelle Clegg, Director of Major Gifts, has put a draft together of naming opportunities. Our infrastructure for development is being built now and with a development officer position to be filled.
The regular meeting was adjourned at 9:10 a.m. by motion of Kelly Meyer-Douglas, seconded by Mary Ann Junkroski. Motion carried.
The next NSMB will be June 17, 2016.
Terri Kostal, Executive Secretary, Naper Settlement