National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH) has announced a brand new
program aimed at the preparation and conservation of featured historical
artifacts, as well as the design of exciting interactive stations which
will be on display when the museum opens in the summer of 2016. The
Adopt-an-Artifact program will allow benefactors to underwrite the
conservation, installation and design costs of a wide variety of objects
and interactives, helping NMIH to forge a connection between America's
industrial past and tomorrow's innovations.
are launching this program because we want to engage the community and
encourage them to become an integral part of the museum's design as we
work to open this summer," said Amy Hollander, President and CEO of the
museum. "It's a unique opportunity where donors can choose an artifact
or interactive that means something to them and have a tangible impact
on preserving a piece of this region's industrial legacy."
Various levels of giving will allow for a range of donations from $100 for personal items used by steel or textile workers to $50,000 to help conserve NMIH's Corliss engine, a centerpiece of the museum. Lisa Harms, Collections Manager and Education Coordinator for the museum added, "Choosing to help conserve a museum artifact ensures that its historical relevance can be preserved, allowing the next generation of visionaries to be inspired by the story it tells."
The Adopt-an-Artifact program includes an 'adoption certificate' for all benefactors and recognition on social media. The higher adoption levels include additional benefits such as exclusive tours of NMIH's Collections Storage Facility, recognition of adoptees on the exhibit floor, and invitations to an exclusive reception. All adoptions will apply to the preservation or creation of the selected artifact or interactive for one year following the museum's grand opening. Artifacts can be adopted by visiting the museum's website at http://nmih.org.
The program will be updated annually with new objects in the museum's collection that require conservation and preservation. The National Museum of Industrial History is currently installing and conserving artifacts and is on-schedule to open in the summer of 2016.
We have relocated from our long-term storage space in Allentown into a small, beautiful suite inside the Northampton Community College building, right next door to the museum at 602 East 3rd Street.
NMIH Board member Laura Bennett Shelton worked closely on this project with Executive Director Amy Hollander, displaying historic objects, furniture and images from Bethlehem Steel as well as from our collections. Together with architect, David Hausman Designs, they worked out the best design for staff and guests. The result is a simple and elegant office that evokes classic Bethlehem in a warm, modern style.
Below are some pics taken yesterday that show our Executive Director, CFO, and Collections Manager and Education Coordinator in their new offices, and our Historian in his clean room (soon to be workshop) inside the museum.
It's been a whirlwind three months since our Executive Director came on board! We have made tremendous headway on construction. HVAC is installed, the permanent power is running, framing is complete and the sheet rock is going up on the new walls. We have started painting but rather than tell you about it, see for yourself in this short photo-essay -- a picture is worth a thousand words...
Stay tuned; we will be posting items about the exhibit installation next.
Statement from Charles Marcon
Chairman and Interim President, National Museum of Industrial History
The Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County has approved and entered a Consent Decree agreed to by the National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH) and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, concluding a prolonged review by the Northampton County District Attorney, Northampton County Grand Jury and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.
As we have maintained throughout this extended process, NMIH has demonstrated its compliance with Pennsylvania law governing the operation of charitable non-profit corporations and, according to the Attorney General's Motion to Approve Consent Decree, "there is no evidence of a crime, misappropriation, bad faith or diversion of any charitable assets." The Consent Decree further states that the Directors of NMIH acted in what they believed to be the best interests of the Museum, that most of the funding to support the construction and operation of NMIH has been contributed by its board members, and that given our current financial position, the completion of the Museum appears viable.
To the board, the most important part of the Consent Decree is the Attorney General's indication that we can and should continue with our mission of building the Museum. To that end, we have already restarted construction with work on the first floor concrete slab and related underground utilities. Bids for the next phase - completion of the first floor - will be received the week of January 26, 2015, with work to begin shortly thereafter and completed by the end of September 2015. Work on exhibit installation will begin after that, and the Museum should open by mid-2016.
We will immediately begin our search for a new Executive Director as outlined in the Consent Decree. We thank Steve Donches for his tireless commitment and dedication to our organization. Steve's efforts and relationships were solely responsible for securing a $3 million grant to NMIH earlier in 2014, and additional funds prior, that will allow the organization to complete the Museum's construction. His vast institutional knowledge about the project is invaluable. We are hopeful he will continue to be available as a volunteer if called upon by the board to contribute his expertise as the project moves forward.
Regarding the search process, NMIH has hired Brent Glass, a highly respected and experienced museum consultant, former Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, to manage the search. A Search Committee is currently being formed and will include at least two community members not directly affiliated with NMIH. The salary to be offered will be consistent with that of Executive Directors in similar positions of similar organizations. The goal is to have the Executive Director in place by the middle of 2015.
With the Attorney General's investigation behind us, we are delighted that we can move forward confidently with our plans and open a Museum that the general public and our donors will be proud of for years to come. We are committed to giving the community a gathering place that celebrates our industrial heritage and provides another educational and cultural experience on Bethlehem's South Side.