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Museum Happenings December 2023

The end of the year has arrived much sooner than anticipated. The previous eleven months have flown by thanks to an active program schedule, along with the numerous workdays and nights to make everything happen. Increased efforts at the Society have produced more participation than ever in remembering local history. November’s events were a success, and it looks like there is enough energy for one more program to close out this year.

Last month, the Tea with Jimmy Stewart held in the Clark House was a success. The afternoon featured the original radio performance for “Shop Around the Corner” and a delightful combination of pastries, tea, and coffee. None of this would have been possible without the Jimmy Stewart Museum, who brought the professional Stewart impersonator to the area for the duration of the “It’s a Wonderful Life Festival”. Downtown Indiana and the Tourist Bureau provided excellent publicity for the event, which prompted several new faces take part in the event. With the tea’s success, the fundraising committee is set on offering more events like it in 2023.

This year’s Christmas open house is set for Friday December 9 beginning promptly at 6pm. The evening will lead off with a performance of a portion of a new historically themed play written by Mary Jo Bowes. The play highlights the time Charles Dickens spent on the Pennsylvania Canal and the potential “inspiration” he may have received while passing through Indiana County. The performance will be followed by Victorian Carolers, concluding with carols around the piano in the Clark House. Refreshments will also be in order and serve as a nice treat for the final program of the year.

A reminder that the Toy exhibit will remain on display for the month of December, as well as the Open Arts Show. A redesign of the exhibit floor is in the planning stages for several of the Society’s displays and Katie Gaudreau is heading the project in the new year with some excellent ideas. Now the challenge is implementing them. Fortunately, Katie has already formed a strong committee that should make that task much easier.

Moving into the holiday season, the gift shop is fully stocked and ready for action. There are a host of new items, with more to come. The redesigned space is thanks to the dedicated research and development of a group of ladies who have been chipping away at this project for over a year. Besides the usual items, several gifts have been hand-crafted by our volunteers. Given the nature of the items, many of them are in limited quantities, so get yours while supplies last!

The 2023 budget is complete and saw a slight increase. This was mainly done to account for a new hire in the library. The influx of research requests and patrons prompted adding the position. Other areas of the budget saw improved support for committees and utilities. This will allow room for growth and fills 2023 with some incredible potential.

A reminder that the Society will be closing for the Christmas and New Year holiday at the end of this month. The last day of operation will be Friday December 23, with the Society reopening on Tuesday January 3. The closure will give our staff and volunteers the much-needed time to rest and prepare for the upcoming year. Have a safe and happy holiday and thank you for your continued support in preserving Indiana County’s past.

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