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.
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
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.
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.
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
DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT: CHALLENGE GRANT
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
DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT
thanks to generous
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!
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.