Visitor numbers are on the rise again, and it appears that the cold may finally be loosening its grip on us! I’d like to recap the big events that took place in the quiet months of winter and remind you of what spring has in store for the American Gothic House Center.
With the help of many wonderful volunteers, we were able to make some cosmetic and organizational improvements at the Center. We’ve been taking inventory of our collection. We'll be able to use our objects more effectively by rotating what's exhibited in our display cases. This process consists of photographing, numbering and organizing all the objects in our collection, and entering information about each into a database.
Matching hangers have unified the appearance of our costume rack, and a new panel above the rack shows visitors how to set up their own parody photo. A grant from the Central Iowa Tourism Region helped fund this new panel. Check it out on facebook!
We are grateful to the Wapello County Foundation for a grant which will provide us with a point-of-sale system for the gift shop, simplifying check out for volunteers and customers. The new system will make reporting about gift shop inventory and sales much simpler and will be synchronized with our soon-to-be launched online shop.
As you know from last week’s newsletter, we also received a grant from the Iowa Cultural Trust to begin establishing an endowment fund for the Center. Funds raised in this campaign will be used to match the Iowa Cultural Trust Endowment Challenge Grant and will become endowment funds to support the Center's annual operations. There is a link to donate below for your convenience. (It works this time, I promise.)
This winter, the American Gothic House Center hosted several successful events. In December we had a gingerbread house decorating activity for area kids. We also participated in the Tour of Homes, a traditional event in Eldon in which several homes and businesses are chosen to be decorated and open for tours. Last month we had our annual Grant Wood Birthday Soup Smorgasboard, which fed about 75 people. Thank you again to all who help make our events a success!
The next event on our calendar is the spring cleaning sale on Saturday, March 19. All non-consignment items will be 10% off, with select items up to 50% off. Don’t miss the great deals that only come around once a year!
Those who visit between 1 and 5 on the 19th are invited to attend an art exhibition inside the American Gothic House. Priscilla Coffman, a motivated volunteer and board member, will have poetry on view on the second floor of the house. When I'm not writing newsletters or weeding the Center's flowerbeds, I am using a paintbrush. Lots of my artwork will be hanging in the house on the 19th. All are welcome to join us for the sale and exhibition that day!
Other upcoming events include our new exhibit opening at the Center on April 1 (More news about this very exciting exhibit will come next week!) and our annual bus trip on April 16. And it’s not too soon to start thinking about Gothic Days in June! Get sign-up information for our5K, bike ride, and art contest on our website!
American Gothic House Center
Don’t forget to sign up for the American Gothic House Center’s annual bus trip to discover Grant Wood country! You can view a detailed itinerary of the trip on our website. The itinerary has links to all the collections we’ll be visiting. Call me at 641.652.3352, or respond to this email to e collections we’ll be visiting. Call me at 641.652.3352, or respond to this email to reserve your seat!
The American Gothic House Center strives to become financially independent through gift shop revenue, sponsorships, and by establishing an endowment fund. Funds raised in this campaign will be used to match the Iowa Cultural Trust Endowment Challenge Grant and will become endowment funds to support the Center's annual operations. As a subscriber to the weekly newsletter, you have already shown support for the American Gothic House Center. I invite you to strengthen your role in the valuable experience we provide the community by making a contribution to our fund drive. Click here to give your tax deductible gift, or head to our website for more information.