News November 2016
Eleanor's Uncommon Courage
News from the Executive Director
"Somehow we must be able to show people that democracy is not about words, but action."

---Eleanor Roosevelt, 1953, India and the Awakening East 
In her time, Eleanor Roosevelt risked all to speak out and lead on issues that challenged the world - two world wars, the Great Depression, genocide, racism and human rights - Eleanor saw the unimaginable but remarkably refused to give in to horror. When others would give into despair and frustration, she risked all to combat it.
Over the last few weeks, we have heard many visitors speak of the restorative hope and inspiration their visit to Val-Kill has brought them. Much in the way that Eleanor would come home from world travels to Val-Kill to regain her endless courage to fight for what she believed, visitors are finding renewed optimism in her example.
You can't find an American who hasn't benefited from something the Roosevelts created or fought for.  And an important part of our mission, is to ensure visitors to Val-Kill come away with a deeper understanding of Eleanor Roosevelt as a fierce organizer who took risks and built connections to achieve social justice for all peoples. 
In our 18 years in public private partnership with the National Park Service, the Partnership has raised more than $2 million in direct benefits to Val-Kill, including exhibits, an United Nations Association Film Festival award-winning documentary, restoration projects, new acquisitions, and programming that inspires Eleanor Roosevelt's ideals in our time. 
Your support means so much to us and allows us to continue our work to reanimate Val-Kill as a vehicle through which ER and her causes can be brought to life. We rely on gifts to the Annual Fund to help bring these important projects forward to tell the story of Eleanor Roosevelt's uncommon courage and relevance for new generations. Please include Val-Kill generously in your year-end giving.   

Warm wishes,
uri sig

Uri Perrin
Executive Director
The Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Partnership
(845) 229--9115 x2037 

Partnership Hosts Civic Engagement Workshop with the Department of State and Bard College

"We all have the right to a decent life for ourselves, our families, our communities, our countries, our world because this is our home.  Social Justice resolves around rights and duties. Social justice protects our dignity" 
--Ahmad Jad, student from Jordan 

As part of the Department of State's Study of the U.S. Institute on Civic Engagement summer institute with Bard College, the Partnership welcomed undergraduate students 
from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Palestinian Territories, and Tunisia for a workshop of Eleanor Roosevelt as a model for civic engagement led by acclaimed historian Allida Black, Board Member Abigail Ruane of Peace Women and Board Chair Manuela Roosevelt.
Outdoor Fireplace Restored and Enjoyed at 4th Annual Val-Kill Picnic & Square Dance
picnic fire place
Thanks to a a generous grant from the Muriel F. Siebert Foundation the Val-Kill Outdoor Fireplace was restored for families to roast hot dogs at September's annual Picnic. Thank you to all of our sponsors and participants who made this year's celebration the best yet! 

earl miller

New Digital App for 2017 Leads to Discovery of Unknown ER personal photographs, including of Earl Miller 

With support from the Partnership,NPS is developing its first collection based digital app that will provide an interactive guide to the photographs Eleanor displayed inside Val-Kill Cottage.  Over 70 previously unknown photographs have been identified in the process.   

Users of the app can click on any image and find out the story behind each one.  "The app is almost an exhibit curated by ER herself," describes NPS curator Frank Futral.  It highlights the diverse individuals whose photographs ER surrounded herself with, offering a new and rich narrative of their importance in her life.

Among new images are those of Earl Miller, arguably  one of ER's most devoted friends and confidants.  Earl is known to have taught Eleanor to drive, swim and play tennis. 
earl miller earl miller

Author Isabel Allende visits Val-Kill
Joined by Carla Goldstein and Elizabeth Lesser of the Omega Women's Leadership Center, and Partnership Chair Manuela Roosevelt, acclaimed and best selling novelist Isabel Allende visited Val-Kill this summer.  

In addition to her work as a writer, Allende also devotes much of her time to human rights through a charitable foundation in her daughter Paula's honor dedicated to the protection and empowerment of women and children worldwide.

"I was deeply moved by Eleanor Roosevelt's home. I can easily imagine her in the unpretentious living room with mismatched furniture or at the small oval dining room table conversing with dignitaries from all over the world who would travel to Val-Kill to be in her presence.  She was the conscience of FDR and of the nation.  Her home reflects perfectly her fundamental values and her extraordinary personality."  
-- Isabel Allende 

We depend on support from individuals like you to help bring Eleanor Roosevelt's ideals in our time to the next generation.  Thanks to a Challenge Grant from Claudine & Fred Bacher ALL GIFTS ARE DOUBLED between now and December 31st!  

Watch Footage of the Roosevelts in the Val-Kill Swimming Pool, which reopens next spring
After four decades, the Swimming Pool returns as a central feature of Val-Kill's cultural and recreational landscape thanks to lead support from Cathy & Jim Stone, Nejame Pools, and a prestigious NPS Centennial Matching grant award. 

Please include Val-Kill in your year-end giving


thanks to generous
support from
Claudine & Fred Bacher


Every Kid in a Park Junior Ranger Day
Sun, Dec 11 from 1-4pm
When local fifth grader Mariama Dabo visited Val-Kill recently, she wanted to participate in a Junior Ranger program as she had at other parks.  When she discovered one had not yet been developed, she did what Eleanor might have done, she went home and created one of her own for Val-Kill!  Mariama's Jr Ranger program will be formerly adopted next month.  Join her at Val-Kill on Dec 11th for its inaugural day! 


Holiday Evening 
Tour of Val-Kill
Sat, Dec 10 from 4-7pm 
No one loved the holidays like Eleanor!  Come visit Val-Kill for a special, free evening tour to see it decorated as she did for holiday festivities with family and special guests. And discover where she hid the grandchildren's' presents!


Tennis Court "Set" to be Restored in 2017

When the Wiltwyck School for Boys visited Eleanor for their annual Val-Kill picnics, they often played tennis.  In spring of 2017, the Val-Kill tennis court, designed for Eleanor by Earl Miller, will be restored as a playable court thanks to lead support by a matching grant from Lia & William Poorvu. 


Digital Eleanor Library with Discovery Education
The Partnership is working with Discovery Education on an ER Digital Library to bring the stories of her courageous leadership to the over 1 million educators and 35 million students who work with DE in over half of US schools. 


Plans to Bring More Public Programs to Stone Cottage 

Thanks to a recent grant from the Muriel F. Siebert Foundation, era-like furnishings will be installed in the seminar room of Stone Cottage and its adjacent garden loggia. These new pieces will provide an authentic setting for a new forum series and other added on-site public programs in Val-Kill's original cottage! 


Did you know that 4th graders and their families can get free passes to any National Park and National Historic Site? 

 Bring your voucher to Val-Kill.  Now through August 2017.
The Eleanor Roosevelt-Val-Kill Partnership is a 501(c)3 nonprofit in public private partnership with the National Park Service's Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site. Our mission is to promote and sustain Eleanor Roosevelt's ideals as one of the world's most courageous leaders for social justice so that future generations can be inspired through her example. We accomplish this mission by revitalizing her life and work through our support of interpretive projects at her beloved Val-Kill home with the National Park Service. We also build engagement, awareness and action for her leadership on social justice issues through collaborative partnerships and programming dedicated to her ideals in our time.  


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The Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Partnership | 4097 Albany Post Road | Hyde Park | NY | 12538