As the cold settles in, volunteers are busy winterizing the property and turning their efforts indoors for the season. A host of artwork now hangs ont he gallery wall and the armory is decorated for the holiday season. The board is busy preparing budgets and approvin them, paving the way for an exciting new year. Though 2024 has not yet arrived, committees are busy working on projects and planning for future success.
Thanks to a few gorgeous days in November, Ron Kuzemchak and Vince Beatty were able to winterize the air conditioning units on Washington Street and prepare them for the long stretch of cold and ice ahead. The buildings and grounds committee also took time to clear leaves and clean the grounds before the frigid weather arrives. The winter prep is one more step of preventative maintenance that the buildings and grounds committee has implemented to care for the Society's resources. In the new year, more itmes will be added to the list, in the hopes of more cost effective spending when it comes to maintenance.
The Open Arts Show put on in conjunction with the Indiana Art Association has been a success since it was installed last month. Many excellent pieces grace the gallery wall and provide interesting perspectives on various subjects. Award winners were announced at the reception on November 18, 2023 and now have ribbons prominently placed on their frames. Stop by the museum to view the art before the holidays, the pieces are on sale and could make an excellent Christmas gift. The display will concluded in the middle of January, opening the gallery wall for the next display.
The Society's Annual Christmas Open House starts the month and closed out our events for 2023. Guests enjoyed seasonal refreshments, and featured a performance by the 46th Regimental Brass Band. The group is based out of Greensburg and performed holiday tunes on historic brass instruments which provided for a truly unique sound. Following the performance, there were carols around the parlor piano which concluded the evening.
Fundraising will kick off the year with the photo contest. The winners in each category will be used in the calendar for the following year. Entries can be submitted beginning in January through the Society's website. We had a tremendous response this year and look to grow the contest. See the 2023 entries here. It is amazing to see some of the views that can be found right here in Indiana County. You can still purcahse the 2024 calendar while supplies last.
The Colonial Homestead exhibit has run its course, and the museum committee is now working on a Vietnam exhibit honoring those who served in the conflict from Indiana County. That will be installed during the month of January and run for the first half of the year. If you have any Vietnam stories or know anyone locally who would like to share their experience, we are looking to add them to the display. The Program Committee also begins preparation for the Vietnam event held at the end of March.
Volunteer, and soon to be board member, Don Lancaster is in the process of scanning Clarence Stephenson's 35mm slides, which feature a host of images depicting properties and locations within the county. Don is meticulously identifying them and ensuring they are around for future generations to enjoy. Some amazing treasures have been found and buildings that have been demolished for years can be seen once more. The Society would eventually like to get these images online for the public to enjoy.
By the end of the month, another year will be in the books. A reminder that the Society will be closed for the holiday starting on Saturday, December 23, 2023 and will reopen for normal business hours Tuesday, January 2, 2024 ready to kickoff the new year and all it has to offer. 2023 has been memorable, with its many milestones and exciting new opportunites. Thank you for your continued support as a member and joining the Society on its continued journey of growth and improvement. From all of us at the historical society, have a safe and happy holiday and we will see you in 2024!