Three Things to Know – May 12, 2020

Dear Friends,

In the spirit of our tech-driven times, I am delighted to bring you a monthly update dedicated to “Hill-Stead Museum’s Three Things to Know,” from me, our new director of communications and marketing.

1. Extra, Extra! I am thrilled to share the first of many great stories about how our cultural destination is innovating during the pandemic on NBC News. I gave NBC’s digital producer an exclusive interview with Hill-Stead’s Executive Director Anna Swinbourne as well as resident shepherdess Bobbie Emery for the announcement of our interactive Virtual Sheep Experiences.

Bobbie Emery and her business partner Anne Foss are the owners of Clatter Ridge Farm. And, it is their Shetland sheep that graze on Hill-Stead’s historic grounds. This spring, we welcomed nearly 30 lambs, and they are now ready to visit you via Zoom! The sweet farm animals are available for work happy hours, corporate conference calls, school field trips, or family get-togethers. All offerings ranging from $25-$250 can be gifted, too, for a memorable and meaningful surprise. Please visit our website to book your sheep experience today!

2. Speaking of sheep, we are pleased to announce the winning bidder of fine artist Kate Emery’s original oil painting, After the Storm. Kate is Bobbie’s sister, and her impressive work depicts the historic barns at Hill-Stead and the flock of sheep that visitors experience at our 152-acre property. During their childhood, the two sisters, along with their three siblings, spent many happy occasions at Hill-Stead. They recall skating on the pond, sledding on the hill, and even enjoying camping trips on the grounds. The Emery sisters are generous supporters of the Hill-Stead Museum, and together, they have found creative ways to support the cultural destination. Held in March 2020, 75 percent of the proceeds from the Emery art auction directly benefited Hill-Stead.

“I want my work to make a difference,” says Kate, a second-career painter. She is also the founder of reSET, a Hartford-based non-profit that seeks to advance the state’s social enterprise sector.

Farmington native, Alden Warner III, purchased the painting for $1250. It was a nod to his childhood friend, Kate, the picturesque village where he spent his formative years and Hill-Stead Museum. Mr. Warner, a third-generation Farmingtonian, says: “It was a chance to buy a lovely painting by my old friend. And, it was a chance to honor Hill-Stead, the last magical landmark that has endured while so much around it has changed.”

3. Last but certainly not least, thank you for being a friend! Hill-Stead was overwhelmed by the generosity of our growing group of supporters. We participated in a full-fledged campaign for Giving Tuesday Now, a new global giving initiative on May 5, 2020. Our weeklong program included authentic content along with beautiful donor quotes, shared via e-blasts, and our various social media platforms to engage our audience. Among the creative posts were a beautiful graphic by educator Rachel Cutler, a chalk drawing by Anna’s daughter, and a “Thank You” photo captured by a drone over the House. We are immensely grateful for all of your contributions as well as our partner Liberty Bank who offered a challenge to match this goal. Every gift sustains us into the future.

I am eager to hear from you. Your questions, ideas, and inspirations are welcome. Leave a comment on a post relevant to the topic or email brettb@hillstead.org.

I will strive to respond to questions as soon as possible, generally within 24 hours.

Best wishes,

Beth Brett

Giving Tuesday Now

DONATE NOW
“We have been gifted with a phenomenal and irreplaceable treasure. We are Hill-Stead’s stewards, responsible for assuring that others will continue to be able to enjoy the Hill-Stead Museum’s unique offerings. How can we not respond to securing its future?”

—Nina Mayhall Hayes

Everyone wins when you support Hill-Stead Museum. During these trying times, art can keep us together. Throughout these turbulent times, our gorgeous 152-acre property has remained open every day, providing a place of refuge for all.

At this moment, Hill-Stead has extended its hands further–offering meaningful creative outlets–to uplift the spirit. And, we have engaged our performing arts partners by offering up the glorious property as a potential venue for outdoor performances–all with the goal of bringing more cultural opportunities to our collective community.

On May 5, 2020, Hill-Stead will join with thousands of non-profits to participate in Giving Tuesday Now, an international day of charitable giving to support non-profit organizations which have been impacted by the loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our goal for this special day of giving is $7,500. Liberty Bank has generously partnered with Hill-Stead and offered a challenge to match this goal. We are grateful for Liberty Bank’s matching gift and yours, which will provide us with the ability to sustain us into the future.

“We are immensely grateful to Liberty Bank, who not only partnered with us on Giving Tuesday Now but helped us with a PPP loan during these trying times,” says Anna Swinbourne, Hill-Stead Museum’s CEO & Executive Director. “I was incredibly impressed with the exemplary service we received from Joseph Raycraft, Liberty Bank’s Vice President, Senior Commercial Relationship Manager.”

Help us reach the goal! Every gift will make an impact! And there’s no need to wait until May 5, make your gift today!

DONATE NOW

If you have difficulty connecting, feel free to call Hill-Stead staff at 860-402-4798.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram throughout the day for progress updates


About Liberty Bank

Established in 1825, Liberty Bank is Connecticut’s oldest bank, with over $6 billion in assets and 60 banking offices throughout the central, eastern, western and shoreline areas of the state. As a full-service financial institution, Liberty offers consumer and commercial banking, home mortgages, insurance, and investment services. Named ‘Top Workplace’ by the Hartford Courant for eight consecutive years, Liberty maintains a longstanding commitment to superior personal service and unparalleled community involvement.

About Giving Tuesday Now

Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world, taking place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. It was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. #GivingTuesdayNow is a new global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020 – in addition to the regularly scheduled Dec 1, 2020 #GivingTuesday – as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.

Hill-Stead Museum Announces New Communications and Marketing Director

Seasoned Communications Strategist Beth Brett Brings Extensive Getty Museum Experience to Farmington

Dr. Anna Swinbourne, Executive Director & CEO of Hill-Stead Museum, announced today the appointment of Beth Brett to the position of Director of Communications and Marketing. Mrs. Brett will join the Museum effective immediately.

In her new role, Mrs. Brett will meet the strategic goals of the storied institution as it enters its exciting next chapter by managing Hill-Stead’s brand, sharing its initiatives, and connecting it to the greater community through meaningful and authentic communications. Her appointment is particularly timely as the National Historic Landmark expands its audiences in the coming years through a major renovation project, resulting in new temporary exhibition space and expanded programming.

From 2004-2011, Mrs. Brett was a lead publicist for The J. Paul Getty Trust, where she forged strategic partnerships and managed public relations for every major program at the world-renowned arts institution. She went on to serve as Communications Director for Los Angeles Tourism, where she oversaw signature programs such as Discover the Arts and dineLA. Since 2012, Mrs. Brett has operated her arts and lifestyle agency with clients including Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Pacific Design Center, Barnsdall Art Park, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House, L.A.’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A graduate of Princeton University, Beth began her career in the arts and cultural division of entertainment agency Serino Coyne, where she worked on creative campaigns for live entertainment brands. With a master’s degree from Stanford’s Journalism School, Beth has bylined articles for The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and ESPN the Magazine.

Most recently, she penned an op-ed piece for March 8th edition of The Hartford Chronicle wherein she writes “Having worked at the J. Paul Getty Museum for eight years, I am now smitten with the Hill-Stead Museum’s impressive collections and gardens…”  Dr. Swinbourne commented: “We are delighted to welcome Beth Brett as the Museum’s new Director of Communications and Marketing. As we embrace a dynamic phase when Hill-Stead closes in on its 75th anniversary and the site embarks on a transformative journey, Beth brings the expertise, creativity, and risk-taking necessary to take the visibility of this vital institution to the next level. All of us look forward to welcoming her to the executive team and working closely with her on the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

Beth Brett stated, “It is a great privilege to join the executive team of Hill-Stead to champion this cultural center in the heart of the Farmington Valley, especially during its 75th-anniversary celebration and beyond.”

Free School Programs at Hill-Stead Museum

“We’re Pulling for You” grant from SBM Charitable Foundation offers field trips and outreach for East Hartford, Manchester, and Vernon/Rockville students 

 Hill-Stead Museum is pleased to announce that SBM Charitable Foundation, Inc. had awarded Hill-Stead a “We’re Pulling for You” grant in the amount of $33,125 in support of its “Art, Poetry and History at Hill-Stead Museum” program offered to East Hartford, Manchester, and Vernon/Rockville students. This program, in partnership with the SBM Charitable Foundation, has provided valuable Fine Arts, Language Arts, and World Languages themed educational programs for thousands of underserved students since 2006.

“We are delighted to be able to continue this important and valuable program,” said Dr. Anna Swinbourne, Interim Executive Director & CEO of Hill-Stead Museum. “Working together as partners, the schools’ educators and Hill-Stead Museum staff provide these students with an incomparable experience beyond the classroom, where they can learn about art and the humanities first-hand. Our unique setting is authentic and historically rich, and filled with the inspiring real-life stories of its founders and their ideals, as well as a world-class collection of decorative arts and French Impressionist masterpieces. The generous support of SBM Charitable Foundation makes this learning possible, and for that we are deeply grateful.”

“Hill-Stead Museum’s ‘Art, Poetry and History’ program is tied to the school curriculum and benefits so many school children in our area communities,” said Doreen Downham, Executive Director of SBM Charitable Foundation.  “The SBMCF is delighted to continue our funding support of the Museum to provide such a wonderfully successful education enrichment program for East of the River students.”

About the SBM Charitable Foundation
The SBM Charitable Foundation, Inc., perpetuating the vision of the former Savings Bank of Manchester, is committed to bettering the lives of those who live and work predominantly East of the River in Hartford, Tolland, and Windham Counties. Priorities established for the Foundation’s giving are Health, Human Services, Education, Housing, and the Arts.

2019 Fresh Voices Finalists Announced

Hill-Stead is honored to announce the finalists for the 2019 Fresh Voices Poetry Competition:

  • Riley Arellano – Naugatuck High School
  • Emily Benoit – Westover School
  • Sophia Ciraldo – Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
  • Elizabeth Cook – Westover School
  • Danny Diaz- Villafane – Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
  • Emily Fisher – Rockville High School
  • Liza Freeman – Westover School
  • Stella Georgian – East Lyme High School
  • Krista Mitchell – Stafford High School
  • Fiona Mucaj – The Ethel Walker School
  • Autumn Munsell – Granby Memorial High School
  • Jillian Potter – Naugatuck High School
  • Camden Robertson – Granby Memorial High School
  • Abigail Tyrrell – Rockville High School
  • Ava Varano – Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts

Hill-Stead receives State of Connecticut DECD Bond Funding

Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, State Rep. Mike Demicco, Hill-Stead’s Executive Director Susan Ballek, Governor Dannel P. Malloy and President of Hill-Stead’s Board of Governors Bill Watson.

Hill-Stead is thrilled to receive $1.75 million in State of Connecticut DECD bond funding to support the adaptive reuse of the museum’s Carriage Barn (adjacent to the historic house) to create a more welcoming visitor reception area, a new rotating exhibition gallery, an interactive interpretive space, a relocated and enlarged Museum Shop, an improved space for education programs and new ADA compliant restrooms.

This is the largest amount of state funding the museum has ever received and supports Hill-Stead’s $6.5 million capital and endowment campaign, which includes a $3.5 million capital renovation project.

Spend Your Summer On the Hill – for children 7 to 11

Register

Play Like the Popes!

Hill‐Stead was once home to a private, six‐hole golf course, which is highlighted in a special exhibition this summer. Children will visit the new exhibition Diamonds in the Rough: Golfing at Hill-Stead and then they’ll get to put with “hickory sticks” like the ones that were used in the early 1900’s. They will also play croquet, lawn tennis, board games and other fun pastimes that children enjoyed when Hill‐Stead was home to the Pope family.

Experience Art!

Paintings, pastels, sculpture, prints and more adorn the walls at Hill‐Stead. Each day includes an exploration of the techniques and creativity needed to produce art in the style of Hill‐Stead’s collections. In addition to daily projects, each child will use oil pastels to create an Impressionist‐style work of art over the course of the week.

 

Registration

$200 members/ $250 nonmembers
An early drop‐off at 8:30 a.m. is available for an additional $10 per day.


Dates

WEEK #1 – Summer on the Hill (Ages 7 – 11)

July 23rd – July 27th
9:00 a.m. ‐ 12:00 noon

WEEK #2 ‐ Summer on the Hill (Ages 7 – 11)

July 30th – August 3rd
9:00 a.m. ‐ 12:00 noon

WEEK #3 – Summer on the Hill (Ages 7– 11)

August 6th – August 10th
9:00 a.m. ‐ 12:00 noon

Hill-Stead Museum Awarded Re-Accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums

Hill-Stead Museum Receives Highest National Recognition

Hill-Stead Museum has again achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public. All museums must undergo a reaccreditation review at least every 10 years to maintain accredited status.
Alliance Accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for over 45 years, the Alliance’s museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.

Susan Ballek, the museum’s Executive Director and CEO, remarked: “Hill-Stead is abundantly proud to be counted among the elite group of museums who meet the rigorous standards for best practices set forth by the American Alliance of Museums. The museum’s Trustees, Board of Governors and staff are dedicated to preserving and sharing Hill-Stead’s rich collection of French Impressionist paintings and decorative arts objects with the public in perpetuity. The guidelines set forth by the Alliance ensure we are taking the right measures to care for our collection and engage our members, donors and community, ensuring this National Historic Landmark will remain a place for learning, reflection and enjoyment for people of all ages and backgrounds.”

Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, over 1,070 are currently accredited. Hill-Stead is one of only 19 museums accredited in Connecticut.

Accreditation is a very rigorous but highly rewarding process that examines all aspects of a museum’s operations. To earn accreditation a museum first must conduct a year of self-study and then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, considers the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation.

“Accredited museums are a community of institutions that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to excellence,” said Laura L. Lott, Alliance president and CEO. “Accreditation is clearly a significant achievement, of which both the institutions and the communities they serve can be extremely proud.”

About the American Alliance of Museums

The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.

 

 

2018 Fresh Voices Finalists Announced

Hill-Stead is honored to announce the finalists for the 2019 Fresh Voices Poetry Competition:

Vanecia Fultz
Jamie Masthay
Sarah Lewis
Elliana Branchesi
Ellis McGinley
Adena Ajike
Abigail Tyrrel
Lauren Dionne
Molly Galusha
Kennedy King
Molly Alexander
Kimberly McGuire
Daniel Diaz-Villafane
Alex Nordlund
Youssef Mezrioui
Rachel Justice