2016 continues to be one of the most challenging but exciting years in the life of the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation. A lot of behind the scenes activities continue in full speed. Listed below are some the tasks that are underway.
SLHF and the City of Sugar Land have been working jointly to design a Heritage Museum / Visitor Center concept on the second floor of the former container warehouse. A good bit of effort has been invested in designing the common use areas where the conference room, break room, and offices are located. Much progress has been made in blending the perspectives / missions of these two concepts. At the same time, each organization has to be able to fulfill its respective purposes. The synergies from joining these two entities are going to be tremendous. A talented group of people are working to make this a reality in early 2017.
Another component underway is the design of the SLHF exhibit space itself. SLHF has engaged the services of a professional design-and-build firm to assists us in this process. This firm will also design / build exhibits that will be a part of the exhibit space. SLHF has divided our storyline into five chapters: 1) Prehistoric: before 1820, 2) Early Settlement: 1821 -1836, 3) Early Development: 1837 - 1908, 4) Company Town: 1908 - 1959, 5) Modern Era: 1959 - current.
We made the decision to keep our interim museum open as long as we possible but at the same time focus on the new museum. Several factors went into this decision: the Farmer's Market is in its busy seasons of summer and fall; the Ft. Bend Children's Discovery Center (FBCDC) opened in May. Each brings many folks to the site each Saturday. The Children's Discovery Center has done a terrific job of creating a colorful and cool space packed with a multitude of things for children to do. CONGRATULATION FBCDC on a great job!!
Regarding our new building, we will have more display space but a lot less storage. SO, out of the thousands of items that range from a small widget to a large piece of equipment: What do we display in the new museum? What do we keep for future displays, research, etc.? How do we dispose of items that will not go forward? The obvious solution is to sort through all the items and rent offsite storage. However, that can be an expensive option. I would bet that some of you have an offsite storage unit that you have paid for over several years and the value of the items has been eclipsed by the cost of the storage fees. Becky and I have fallen into that trap in the past. This project remains as one of, if not, the most difficult task that we have to complete!
Earlier this summer, we participated in the "Turn Back the Clock Baseball Game at Constellation Field". We also have continued our Heritage Hikes and outreach programs to civic organizations. We also held the second Discover Sugar Land Scavenger Hunt as an event and fundraiser.
One of our annual fundraisers, Scavenger Hunt 2016 was held in mid-June. We used the backup date due to the heavy rains in May. We almost canceled it in June because of a large thunderstorm that day. Of course, we were not the only organization dealing with the weather. Several golf tournaments and other outdoor activities were either rescheduled or cancelled all together. While on the subject of fundraising events this year, save the date of November 10 for Speakeasy. See this newsletter for more details.
Despite all of the transition items mentioned above, now is a great time to volunteer at SLHF. We have existing programs that could use your talents and time, e.g. Saturday docents for the interim museum or the project of evaluating / packing up items to move later this year. Regardless of your age or station in life, we have an opportunity for you to become a part of the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation.
The mission of the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation is to inspire community pride by collecting, preserving, communicating, and celebrating the history of Sugar Land, Texas. Come join us, contact us at 281-494-0261 or visit our website at www.slheritage.org