Beginning a new chapter
As we close out 2021 and move toward 2022 I look back in amazement at how fast time is moving. It seems like we just opened the Museum even though that was over eight years ago, on Labor Day weekend, 2013.
An enormous amount has happened since then. We went through all the growing pains that any new organization faces. For us it was especially trying. After all, how many people do you know who have established a museum. But as I have said to our board of directors many times, we have overcome every challenge we have faced. The Museum has progressed incredibly since we first opened.
But one thing hasn’t changed: our vision. That has remained crystal clear since we thought of having a museum. But we never wanted to be a typical community museum where things sit in dusty display cases that people forget about five minutes after they leave the building. We recognized the need to focus on interpretation and outreach as key to relating to and engaging our visitors as well as the whole community. Space does not permit me to go into detail here, but come to the Museum and you will see what I mean. We make what you see meaningful to your life even if you have no connection to Hamtramck.
This approach has been very successful for us. We now have a well structured museum that stands tall as a professional organization. We have matured professionally so much that we are now ready to move into the second phase of the Museum’s existence, which is to focus on sustainability and expansion.
We have a strong base of supporters who make up the Friends of Historical Hamtramck. We plan to grow that substantially next year. We also are going to expand the Museum’s board of directors and increase the number of volunteers to help at the Museum. This will help position us for the inevitable change of leadership that will come with time. We recognize how important that is and we are taking steps to ensure that we are prepared for the future.
The days of us being an amateur operation are over. We recognize the professional standards we must still adopt as we build on the things we have already done. It has always been my intent that the Hamtramck Historical Museum will some day be known nationally for our accomplishments.
I can confidently say that we are well on our way to achieve that.