Saturday, November 29, 2008

General Lew Wallace Stars as Christmas Parade Grand Marshal


One of Montgomery County’s famous faces will be leading this year’s Crawfordsville Christmas Parade on Sunday, December 7.

Crawfordsville’s own General Lew Wallace, portrayed by living history presenter Bernie O’Bryan, will be this year’s Grand Marshal, leading the parade alongside Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, Director of the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum and Dale Petrie, President of the Lew Wallace Study Preservation Society Board of Trustees.

“We’re delighted to ride alongside General Wallace during the Christmas parade in his hometown,” said Catlin-Legutko. “It’s an honor for our organization to be a part of this great holiday tradition.”

This honor comes during the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum’s most successful years to date. This year, the Museum was awarded the National Medal for Museum Service, the highest honor for museums who make their communities better places to live. Catlin-Legutko and Petrie will accept the Medal during a special presentation by a Crawfordsville City Council member in front of the courthouse square at the beginning of the day’s events. After the presentation, Catlin-Legutko and Petrie will ride alongside “Wallace” in a carriage at the front of the parade.

O’Bryan, a member of the Mid States Living History Association, has portrayed Wallace before at July’s Civil War Encampment weekend, and again during the second Taste of Montgomery County in September.

--Kara Edie, Visitor Services & Marketing Coordinator

Fall into the Holidays



Fall has come and gone here at the Study. The colorful leaves have fallen and mowers have been put away for the winter. The ground is on its way to being frozen and the first snow storm is being predicted. The myrtle is still blooming and the hydrangea blooms have become Christmas decorations!

The holiday open house is December 14 from 1-4:30 and the Carriage House Interpretive Center has been apropriately decorated. We've decorated 2 trees this year, depicting the Victorian age and the Civil War era. Homemade ornaments, tinsel, pinecones and bead garland are used for the Victorian tree, while the Civil War tree has apples, pears, pomegranates, and dried hydrangea blooms.


Garlands have been strung and the gift shop is fully stocked with a wide array of Christmas gifts. Don't forget members of the Lew Wallace Preservation Society get a discount!
It's the last time the 2008 exhibit, Lew Wallace-Gentleman Scientist will be on display. The 2009 exhibit is being planned and a full calendar of events is in the works!
--Deb King, Grounds Manager

Friday, November 14, 2008

Yipppeee!

Yipppeee! We’ve being saying that a lot around here these days! With the National Medal award, it’s been an incredible fall at the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum. The staff and I are committed to excellence in museum programming and operations and to have this dedication awarded at the top level is more than we dreamed for ourselves. I am truly grateful to our members, donors, and volunteers for helping us make the dreams possible and for inspiring us look to the future with great optimism.

I am excited to share with you that the board has adopted a new strategic plan. Our first plan ended in September of this year with all of our goals met, which in the beginning seemed like an extremely tall order. With your help our first strategic plan was realized and the museum was positioned for accolades. Again, thank you.

The next five years will build on our high standard of excellence established through innovative programs and events like the Lew Wallace Youth Academy, the Historic Preservation Workshop Series, Annual Theme Exhibit and Programs, and the Taste of Montgomery County. It is equally critical to consider the small museum environment that this success was built in – the staff wear multiple “hats” and are regularly bound by budget constraints. As a result, the objectives outlined in our new plan are carefully measured for strength and feasibility.

Heading into the planning process, the board and staff understood that the focus of the plan needed to rest on a three key objectives: restore the study structure, evolve into a self-sustaining organization, and become the “best small museum in the Midwest.” With these in mind, the plan was developed during a series of board retreats held July 19, August 16, and September 20, 2008. Facilitated by Herm Haffner of Total Solutions, the planning process included an in-depth examination of the organization’s core competencies, mission, vision, and charge. With consensus in place, Haffner led the group through discussions regarding assumptions, budget, and human resources. Strategic planning activities included internal and external situation analyses, consideration of weaknesses and problems, comparative analysis of organizational peers, threat analysis, consideration of advantages and opportunities, and finally, establishing objectives.

We have established ten strategic objectives that will help us meet our charge to be a key cultural asset for our community’s continued well-being. To do this, we will:
-Provide innovative cutting edge programs and operations
-Create individualized experiential learning
-Become financially self sustaining
-Provide continued stewardship of collections and historic structures
-Focus on activities that add value to the study and the community
-Serve as a model to the larger small museum community

I invite you to read the entire plan and join our enthusiasm by following this link: http://www.ben-hur.com/GLWSM_2009-2012_Plan.pdf . I look forward to the next five years and the incredible support of our members, donors, and volunteers. Yipppeee!

--Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, Museum Director

Monday, November 10, 2008

General Lew Wallace Study and Museum honored at Crawfordsville City Council meeting

What a great night! The staff and board of the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum were honored by the City Council of Crawfordsville, Indiana for winning the National Medal for Museum Service this year. The Council drafted a special resolution acknowledging our hard work, and the Council and audience gave us a standing ovation!

It feels great to be appreciated, but it feels even better to be part of a staff that works so seamlessly together to achieve such long-ranging and exciting results for our community.


--Kara Edie, Visitor Services & Marketing Coordinator

Museum Director Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, Museum Board President Dale Petrie, Council Member Dennis Cook, Museum Associate Director Amanda Wesselmann, Museum Marketing Coordinator Kara Edie, Council Member George Parker, Museum Grounds Manager Deb King, Council Member Roger Rockenbaugh, Council Member Heather Perkins, Council Member Patrick Taylor, Council Member Nellie Thompson, Crawfordsville Mayor Charles Coons, and Council Member Raymond Kirtley.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bright Shining Moment


It's great that Cinnamon got to go to Washington D.C. to receive the National Medal for Museum Services, but what's going on around here? Well, the Crawfordsville City Council drafted a resolution to pass at Monday's meeting to recognize the magnitude of this achievement, and specifically thank the staff, board, and membership for their hard work in bringing this honor to the city of Crawfordsville. All the Museum staff will be there, along wtih Lew Wallace Study Preservation Society President Dale Petrie, toting the medal for all to see. We hope to see quite a crowd to share in the glory of the medal - this is not your average city council meeting!
--Amanda Wesselmann, Associate Director