2024 Grant Application: Exhibit: The Wonder Room

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Grant Overview

Please enter a brief descriptive name for this grant*
Exhibit: The Wonder Room

Briefly describe the purpose of the grant
Visitors to the Canaday Gallery will find a new, more expansive installation of notable art and craft objects that span two hundred years. The exhibit space has been renovated and will showcase the breadth of the History Center’s collection. Both of which aim to make the Canaday Gallery a unique and welcoming place to showcase art and reflect our commitment to being good stewards of our objects. There will be over 50 artists and craftsmen highlighted in the exhibition. There will be a reception in June 2024 celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, a performance by the VSO, an exhibit preview, and throughout the year will be launching our new art and culture program series.

What is the total budget for the project for which you are requesting EDC support?

How much funding are you requesting from the EDC?

Applicant and Organization Information

Name of Applicant / Organization / Business
Woodstock History Center

Mailing address
26 Elm Street Woodstock, Vermont 05091

Name of Project coordinator
Matthew Powers

Coordinator's email address

Coordinator's telephone number

Organization's website

Organization's EIN

If you are applying on behalf of an organization, describe the organization and its mission (if you are applying as an individual enter "None")
For 80 years, we have endeavored to share the story of the Woodstock area and beyond through exhibits, lectures, workshops, community outreach, publications, and educational programming. Our mission is: Sharing and preserving the history of Woodstock through inspiring educational experiences and dynamic collections.

If you are applying on behalf of an organization, what is your annual organizational budget (if you are applying as an individual enter "None")?

Project Description

Please provide a detailed description of the project
The Wunderkammer arose in sixteenth-century Europe as collections of notable and rare objects, mostly from well-to-do people. Wunderkammer can be literally translated from German as a 'room of wonder'. In English, such rooms are referred to as cabinets of curiosities. Over time, these places showcased collections which consisted of natural and manmade objects representing multiple disciplines. They became popular in early America and are often seen as precursors to modern museums. This exhibition presents a contemporary interpretation of the traditional cabinet of curiosities, bringing together a diverse selection of works by artists and craftspeople who have connections to the Woodstock area over the last two hundred years. The objects show the breadth of the History Center’s collection, which we hope will bring a renewed sense of wonder of the quality of work produced here. It is also an opportunity to collaborate with a variety of organizations and people in the arts and culture sector to promote our shared missions and to make the Upper Valley region a uniquely desirable place to live and work.

What is the timeline for the project (e.g. when will it be ready to start, when will it be completed,
are there important milestones along the way?
The exhibit launch date, reception, and celebration will occur on June 7, 2024. The exhibit will be on view for two years for our tour seasons in 2024 and 2025 (June-October). Our milestones have already been accomplished. The renovation of the gallery has been completed by the end of 2023. We already have the commitment by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra for the performance. The majority of the art and craft objects have been selected. The installation has begun on January 2, 2024.

What will success look like?
The re-establishment of a keystone art and culture event/exhibit in June in the Village of Woodstock. Contributing to the widespread recognition of the importance of the "Creative Economy" and its important role in providing a vibrant and stable community base. Highlighting the continuity of the local, historic art and craft traditions in the Woodstock area.

Project Budget

Please provide a link to a spreadsheet that shows the project's budget, using the format as indicated in this example

Please confirm that no in-kind expenses are included in the budget spreadsheet

If there are any explanations you would like to provide to help us better understand the project budget spreadsheet
please enter them here
There are no additional explanations.

Community Support

Is there a "project champion" who strongly supports the project?
Murray Ngioma, daughter of artist Byron Thomas, artist, teacher.

Describe the level of community support for this project
We have had positive feedback from business owners and community members about creating more opportunities for arts, culture, and history related experiences and opportunities.

Questions and Responses

Question: Matt, one of the EDC's objectives for 2024 and beyond is to spread the arrival of visitors more evenly across the year, to try to diminish the impact of huge arrivals of people at peak periods. Can you envision some adjustment of your schedule for this, and perhaps other, exhibits that would help us achieve this goal? Perhaps it would take one year to implement this, so is there any chance your second year of the exhibit could help accomplish this? (submitted by Jon Spector)
Response: The WHC hosts "out-of-season" specialty tours of our exhibits for visitors to our area. We will be enhancing this opportunity this year and beyond with the new exhibit and the rehousing of the Hindsight 20/20 (the story of Woodstock) exhibit in the barn. We would not change our "regular" tour season hours unless we received additional monetary support for staffing and infrastructure improvements. Perhaps there are other ways to increase visitation and we welcome the chance to meet with representatives of the EDC to talk about it.

Question: If you were awarded the grant how would you plan to recognize the contribution made by the EDC (so the community can better understand the types of investments we are making in economic and commmunity development)? (submitted by Jon Spector)
Response: The WHC will recognize the grant made by the EDC by including the commission's name/information on all advertising, website, and social media outlets. Credit will also be located on the main exhibit signage, acknowledgement at the opening reception, and associated programming. I feel this is sufficient to let the community understand the role that the EDC plays in support of economic and community development.

Question: Matt, How many folks do you anticipate will attend the exhibit over the term, and how will you reach out to folks to let them know of your offerings? (submitted by Todd Ulman)
Response: We typically have about 2,000 people visit our museum every tour season (June-October). So, 4,000+ over two years. We anticipate 80-100 people attending our opening reception. The expansion of our exhibit related programming, like specialty off-season tours, should reach several hundred people. We also consider off-site/online interactions as being just as valuable as folks walking in our door. The History Center reaches over 50,000 people every year via our social media and website platforms. We always have online components of our exhibits and this enhances attendance and individual experience. The development of online content like our videos about the artifacts/artists on display should create additional "attendance" to the exhibit. The WHC has a outdoor ArtShare Gallery which will highlight our exhibit artifacts. We receive at least 750 interactions (the amount of postcards that are taken) with that offsite mini-exhibit. We use common marketing strategies to let people know about offerings. These include: e-newsletters, social media, posters, direct mailing, ads, and other promotional materials. We will be adding a special invitation to the opening reception as well as a mailing about the exhibit. We also have partnerships with media outlets like Woodstock Magazine that highlight our offerings.