Recently I was down in Gloucester and Salem and then in Boston; and I was overcome by a wondrous sight! Waves and waves of local citizens who are enthusiastic and vigorous supporters of the museums in their area. Not only have they showed up in great numbers, they’ve committed themselves in financial and timely ways.
And it shows. The Cape Ann Museum, the Peabody Essex Museum, the Museum of Science and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They are shining examples of support.
I was thrilled recently to see that kind of local support thriving at the Lowell Boat Shop, and I am thrilled to be a part of the exciting events that are occurring at the Custom House Maritime Museum.
But the only way that our two great museums will find their full potential is if the entire community gets behind them. Businesses have supported them and should redouble that support. The Cushing House needs the funds to fully exploit their ‘campus’ that includes one of America’s earliest mints. The Custom House desperately needs an addition that can fully exhibit their artifacts and provide a world-class visitor’s center. They also need a temperature-controlled environment to protect what they have accumulated.
It should be a requirement in our city that if you want to be considered ‘part of the city’ that you become a member of one of these two institutions. Sure, the theatre and the NAA are important for culture, and the Audubon and other great non-profits in town need support but nothing shows off our city better than our museums, and they need to be world-class.
Last night, I was excited to see the place packed out. This in spite of the fact it was absolutely freezing and miserable outside. And while I was listening to the lecturer, I looked him up and was proud that the New Your Times had a major write-up indicating the international effect caused by this man’s research. Of course, if you had showed up, you could have found out what I’m talking about!
Start off the new year by being part of Newburyport’s vibrant social life by getting yourself invited, and then join so you can invite your friends and family to members-only activities.