The world certainly has changed since we sent our annual letter last November. We have all faced unrecognizable challenges over the past nine months, as we bravely forged ahead with life’s ‘Plan B’. We have witnessed the unimaginable and conquered the impossible. And despite our distance, we have never had more in common. Today, we send this letter with hope that you and yours remain safe and well, and with faith that our future is bright with promise.
In spite of the unrecognizable challenges we experienced at the Village this year, we are blessed and proud to report that we were able to move forward on the plan we presented to the community last November for long- term growth. We began our journey to expand the Village in ways that will attract greater participation, via existing and new programs, and increase exposure to our community and greater Maine. We hired a Director of Education and Curation, thus planting the seed toward significant growth as a nationally ranked museum. We strengthened the value of our assets by addressing deferred maintenance issues, and we enhanced overall curb appeal throughout the village.
As we move into 2021, we are more committed than ever to our community. We strongly believe we can help make a difference in the financial comeback of our small business community, and our 2021 growth plan is centered on this commitment.
Rising above COVID19, with solid plans for a sustainable future
As we prepare to close one of the most trying years in history, we are ready to welcome 2021 with a heightened level of enthusiasm and optimism. We recognize that we still have a long way to go, and many challenges to face before we can get there. But if COVID19 has had a bright side, it has reminded us that we do have the strength to get there, and that we will.
Maine celebrated its 200th Bicentennial with an unwanted kind of pomp and circumstance, and one that will never be forgotten. Now it’s time to look forward with positive intent, a strong faith in one another, and solid plans for a sustainable future.
How the Village plans to re-open in 2021, stronger than ever before
The unprecedented times of 2020 forced us all to stop in our tracks, look both ways, and then, rebuild the engine. Our new normal evolved into a series of unexpected events that began with great disappointment and transitioned into anticipated excitement. Soon after the decision was made to close for the first time in 56 years, the team began to rebuild a Village that would be stronger than ever before.
The Buildings and Grounds crew tackled decades of deferred maintenance that was only made possible due to the shutdown. On the marketing front, we implemented new ways to tell our story. Our business office welcomed an innovative new manager, and we achieved our long- standing mission to add a Director of Education and Curation to the BRV team. And together, the team polished up every square inch of the Village, incorporating new ways for our visitors to enjoy their future visits, while preserving the traditional favorites.
Keeping our mission on track as we strengthen our long-term sustainability
Our mission has remained true for more than half a century: to conserve, display and interpret artifacts, authentic period structures and technologies utilized in Maine during the historical period of the Mid-19th through the Mid-20th Centuries. As the only museum of its kind in Maine and New England, our mission plays a critical role in historic preservation nationwide.
Last month we took a tremendous step forward in securing our past, when Dr. Whitney Lytle joined the team. Her goals for both curation and education are right on track with our mission and include appropriate consideration for safety protocols as they continue to develop. In addition, they are in line with the Villages’ growth plan to implement a hands-on museum experience for all ages. We invite you to learn more about Dr. Lytle’s plans at www.RailwayVillage.org
We have also made great strides in our continued effort to generate organic revenues, via programs and services that are in line with our mission. Several of which will be debuted in 2021; to include a series of Maine 200 (and one) celebrations (in collaboration with the Maine 200 Bicentennial Commission), an antique store, an old fashion general store, and vintage themed events.
Our Commitment to our Community
Our commitment to our community is at the core of our mission, as well as our growth plan for the future. As we move forward into the unknown, we will continue to place strong focus on what we can do as an organization to help our community through these devasting times. Beginning with a robust advertising plan missioned to increase exposure to our entire region. This collaborative marketing plan enabled us to obtain a MOT Tourism grant to assist in the effort. We believe that we must support one another, now more than ever. And that together, we will persevere.
It Takes a Village, and WE NEED YOU
Despite the events of this past year, one thing will never change. We do not know what tomorrow will bring, so we must continue to do our very best to seize the moment, as we carefully plan for the future. The Boothbay Railway Village is a rare gem, offering unique opportunities in our region, and our state. As our new normal continues to evolve, our ample space and creativity will allow us to evolve with it. The Village has been offered an incredible opportunity to receive matching funds for total donations raised by December 31st. It is with humble appreciation that we ask our generous family of past donors, local residents, and area businesses to help us, as we continue our mission to offer meaningful recreation to locals and visitors, who need the outlet now more than ever.
On behalf of the staff, volunteers, and Board, we wish to thank you in advance, for your consideration.
Charles E. Bamberg
President of the Board of Directors
Boothbay Railway Village