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2 o 1 1 a n n u a l r e p o r t

only emphasize historic horticulture practices, but will also demonstrate their relevance to modern-day local food movements and community gardening. We kicked off this new programming with a series of free spring and summer workshops on a variety of topics, but even bigger plans – including the unveiling of a horticulture center – will arrive this fall.

Art in Clay: Masterworks of North Carolina Earthenware began its national tour last September at the Milwaukee Art Museum to critical acclaim, and remained there through January 2011. In late March 2011, it opened in Winston-Salem at the Frank L. Horton Center in Old Salem. I hope those of you who are local residents had a chance to see this spectacular pottery collection. As you read this, it has been carefully packed for the next leg of its journey – Colonial Williamsburg.

To coincide with the March debut of “Art in Clay” locally, Old Salem held its second Founders Gala, and what a night it was! More than 200 people attended the exhibition’s premiere, enjoyed an elegant dinner on the Visitor Center’s concourse, and were treated to a special concert featuring Broadway singing sensation, Brian Stokes Mitchell.

Now more than ever, partnerships are essential to the delivery of educational and artistic programs of excellence. In addition to our current collaborations with the University of Virginia, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro, Salem Academy and College, Home Moravian Church, the Moravian Music Foundation, the Arts Council, and others, we forged new partnerships with the Winston-Salem Symphony and classical radio station WDAV in December 2010 to present a one-of-a-kind Christmas symphonic concert. Our James A. Gray, Jr. Auditorium provided an intimate setting for the Symphony’s seasonal selections of classical music, including an original work by local composer Margaret Sandresky. WDAV recorded this concert for subsequent broadcast on Christmas Eve, enabling us to share this beautiful music with a broader audience. We plan to present a special Christmas concert annually and seek to expand our broadcast range in the upcoming year to reach even more listeners.

Tis annual report would not be complete without some mention of the financial picture that Old Salem has faced in the past year. All of our divisions were charged with the difficult task of adhering to very lean budgets without compromising program excellence, and I think that they have done an extraordinary job. Our retail enterprises are making positive contributions to the Museum’s general operations. And, despite the flagging economy, our unrestricted contributions continue to be stable, thanks, in great part, to the loyal and generous support of our donors. I invite you to take a look at the financial statements in this report, where you will see a reduction in our debt and our operating deficit, and a much improved bottom line.

Now, let’s return to our conversation about values. As I mentioned last year, our staff has been examining ways in which to re-vitalize our interpretive experiences for 21st century audiences, while holding true to the very unique story of our Moravian settlers. How do we tie their traditions, their stories, their values to the modern-day world with relevance and energy?

Tis past year, our staff met with colleagues and peers from the fields of history, technology, media, and education to address these questions. What has emerged from these discussions is the development of an ambitious plan that will unfold over the next five years – telling the Salem story in the context of American history and with an eye to illustrating specific themes:

• Pioneers: Exploration, Migration and Settlement • Religion and Governance • Commerce and Economy • Material Culture and Quality of Life • Race, Gender and Human Rights

We’ll be looking at ways to introduce these themes into the interpretative experience. And we’ll be bringing our stories to the public in very different ways – through the cross-pollination of disciplines, through drama and storytelling, and through the introduction of technology. All of these methods will be undertaken with an eye toward our Strategic Transformation Initiative: to concentrate on our best museum assets; to develop Old Salem as a ‘third place’ for visitors; to increase our special classes, events and partnerships; and to accelerate the use of technology in marketing and our programming. Last year was but a glimpse of what is to come!

On behalf of the staff and board of Old Salem Museums & Gardens, I extend our gratitude to you – our visitors, our scholars, our collectors, our donors, our friends – for your generous support and encouragement during the past year. As always, we welcome your ideas and suggestions, and look forward to sharing the Old Salem experience and its values with you.


Lee French President and CEO

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