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Historic Area Programming | Historic Area Preservation | Historic Trades
Historic Area Needs | John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library | Museum Exhibitions | Conservation|
Educational Outreach | General Support | Historic Jamestowne
Historic Area Programming
The Revolutionary City
In 2012 guests were introduced to the Revolutionary City that draws together programs throughout the Historic Area — sites, trades, on-the-street programs, Revolutionary City® scenes, African American, Native American, military, and children's programs — into a single, compelling story. The Revolutionary City highlights daily life, new revolutionary ideas, diverse perspectives of the gentry, working people, women, African Americans, Indians, and the military. The Revolutionary City experience is interactive, compelling, and speaks to the enduring importance of the founding principles that continue to shape our democracy today.
Annual costs of $100,000 include story development, training and costuming of the actor/interpreters. Gifts of any size are welcome.
An extraordinary group of men and women set the compass for America's resistance to Great Britain and fight for independence. To tell their story, Colonial Williamsburg has engaged a group of talented actor/interpreters called Nation Builders. Leading patriots like Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and George Washington are joined by less well- known free and enslaved individuals who shaped the course of events that led to the Revolution and a new republican order. In Historic Area programs as well as educational outreach initiatives like Colonial Williamsburg's Electronic Field Trips, Nation Builders demonstrate that it took men and women of different classes, races, and talents to give birth to America. As key spokespeople for the Foundation's Education-for-Citizenship theme, Nation Builders convey the message that now, as at the time of the Revolution, every American citizen needs to be involved in building and sustaining our nation.
Your support funds ongoing program development and the training and costuming of Nation Builders. Gifts of any size are welcome.
RevQuest: The Black Chambers
The third in a series of alternate-reality games for young visitors, this program debuts in June 2013. Young guests can begin the historically accurate game online and continue on-site in Colonial Williamsburg's Revolutionary City. Immersed in Williamsburg during the Revolutionary War, players interact with costumed interpreters and solve clues communicated via personal mobile technology.
Cost of materials such as bandanas, decoder sheets, coins, packets, etc.: $125,000; we welcome gifts of any size.
African American Programming
Inclusiveness and authenticity are hallmarks of Colonial Williamsburg's programming. As the rights of man were articulated in the House of Burgesses and the Raleigh Tavern, the narrow definition of those to whom such rights extended did not include Africans and African Americans, Native peoples, women, or men with no property. Colonial Williamsburg pioneered the development of African American programming, which illustrates the lives of free black and enslaved people in late colonial and revolutionary America. Programs highlight the role of African Americans in the American Revolution, the impact of slavery upon the founding of the American republic, and African Americans' struggle for freedom and full rights as citizens. This year a new “in the moment” program will be introduced at the Peyton Randolph House featuring the paradox of freedom and slavery by contrasting Peyton Randolph's espousal of the American cause with the lives of his enslaved workers. Our programs inspire modern citizens to reflect on the importance of active participation in a democratic society to safeguard our rights and the rights of others.
2013 African American program and training costs are $100,000. We welcome gifts of any size.
American Indian Initiative
American Indians played a critical role in colonial America and the formation of the United States. Colonial Williamsburg's American Indian Initiative supports programming, activities, and projects depicting Native peoples in Williamsburg on the eve of the American Revolution. Efforts include forging partnerships with American Indian communities and institutions and sponsoring special Indian programs, such as “So Far From Scioto” and “The War Party” performed by all-Native casts, an Electronic Field Trip, “Emissaries of Peace,” in partnership with the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and an annual weekend program, “Return of the Cherokee,” with an Eastern Cherokee delegation.
Annual funds needed: $100,000. We welcome gifts of any size.
So Far from Scioto and The War Party
Two well-received and popular productions showcase Indian reaction to the winds of war blowing through Virginia. Offered for several weeks in the spring and fall with all-Native American casts, the stories feature Shawnees in Williamsburg. In “Scioto,” the young men were in town as part of a “peace bond” in 1774 and were treated as guests. Visitors witness the Shawnees' response to the tumultuous events of the following year as they consider whether to stay or return to their own lands. “The War Party” shows relationships with the Shawnee and Virginians breaking down in 1778, after militia men had murdered the Shawnee chief.
We welcome your gift of any size toward production costs.
Military Encampment and Artillery Park
To understand more fully the story of the American Revolutionary War soldier, Colonial Williamsburg guests may join the Virginia State Garrison Regiment at a Military Encampment similar to soldiers' camps surrounding Virginia's capital as the struggle began. Their 40-minute tour of duty includes hearing the orders of the day, learning about food rations, marching, and practicing 18th-century musket drills.
Funds needed for seasonal staffing and encampment supplies: $35,000.
A 1781 map of Williamsburg shows French and American military encampments and near the Magazine and Courthouse an Artillery Park for storing and maintaining field pieces. Soldiers practiced firing guns in or near the compound. An Artillery Park is in Colonial Williamsburg's plan for expanded military programs. Generous donors have funded some of the artillery pieces.
Additional artillery needed: 2 light bronze 6-pounder cannons, $26,000 each or $52,000 for a pair; 1 bronze 41/2-inch cohorn mortar, $6,100.
Special Weekend Programs:
Under the Redcoat
British Army re-enactors invade Colonial Williamsburg's Revolutionary City for a three-day weekend to re-create the occupation of the city 230 years after British General Lord Charles Cornwallis imposed martial law near the end of the American Revolution. Guests experience the hardships and loss of liberties suffered by the city's 18th-century citizens at the hands of the world's mightiest military power.
June 28-30, 2013 re-enactment weekend costs: $15,000.
Colonial Williamsburg is repairing brick and stone elements of more than 40 Historic Area structures that are currently at risk. Colonial Williamsburg maintenance masons and Historic Trades brickmakers are continuing this work in 2013.
Buildings to be repaired in 2013:
Booker Tenement - a “middling sort” house on Nicholson Street. Documentary evidence reveals that Richard Booker, carpenter and town constable, was renting out rooms by 1826. Some repair work has begun; additional brick repairs and repointing are estimated to cost $26,000.
William Byrd III House - Located just outside the Historic Area near Merchants Square, this house was built around 1770. William Byrd III was raised at Westover, married first into the wealthy Carter family, and inherited his family's vast lands and slaveholdings. However, he squandered the Byrd fortune by gambling and making bad investments - and committed suicide in 1777. Samuel Griffin acquired the house in 1778. He was a member of the first Congress, which convened in New York in 1789. Both the east and west chimneys require repairs estimated to cost $15,000.
Chiswell Bucktrout House - In 1766, Colonel John Chiswell was accused of killing Robert Rutledge in a tavern brawl. The day before his trial began, he died, rumored to have been by his own hand. Cabinetmaker Benjamin Bucktrout lived and worked in the house in the 1770s. The elongated hip roof of the house is unusual in Williamsburg, but was common in England in the early 1800s. The house and its separate kitchen located on Francis Street are hotel facilities today. A major crack on the north side of the west chimney requires repairs of $17,000.
King's Arms Tavern - For more than 30 years, Jane Vobe operated the King's Arms Tavern in Williamsburg, a place “where all the best people resorted,” according to a French traveler. Patrons included Burgesses, councilors, the governor, and locals. Operating first on Waller Street, then by 1772 on Duke of Gloucester, her tavern was “opposite the Raleigh, at the Sign of the King's Arms. ” She supplied American troops with food and drink during the Revolutionary War, and at some point changed the tavern name to The Eagle. Colonial Williamsburg is seeking $17,000 to repair a chimney crack.
Benjamin Powell House - Benjamin Powell, probably the son of a middling planter, became a successful “undertaker” (contractor), working on major projects throughout town. He repaired the Public Gaol, Capitol, and Governor's Palace, built the Public Hospital and the tower on Bruton Parish Church, and worked on soldiers' barracks in 1776. He purchased the Benjamin Powell House on Waller Street in 1763 and sold it in 1782. Today, the house is open for school groups during much of the year and seasonally for other visitors; youngsters participate in hands-on activities, often led by junior interpreters. We seek $7,000 for chimney repairs and repointing.
The Quarter - this small 19th-century cottage on Francis Street is believed to have served as a slave quarters at one time. An added shed at the rear of the building has resulted in an unusual, attractive roofline. The dwelling is now a hotel property. We need $15,000 for repair work on its chimney.
Paint Analysis of Historic Interiors
Colonial Williamsburg is well known for its ground-breaking architectural paint and color research. Using cross-section microscopy, pigment analysis, and color measurement, the Foundation has identified original exterior building colors, pigments used, and their relative dates. Expert paint analysts working with foundation architectural historians now wish to study interior paint in its eighteenth-century buildings. Interior paint strata are far more intact than those on building exteriors, and variations within and among rooms tell complex stories of usage and change.
Funding needed to complete the project: $15,000.
You can help ensure that Colonial Williamsburg's gardens continue to delight guests for generations to come. Filled with the riotous color of spring bulbs, the luxurious green of the summer months, or the blaze of autumn leaves, Historic Area gardens are beautiful works of art as well as illustrations of an important facet of 18th-century life.
A gift of $100,000 creates a named endowment for the gardens.
18th-century Type for the Print Shop
Historic Trades printers use traditional lead-based type to print reproduction documents on their 18th-century-style press. With use, the type wears out, requiring its replacement. While once a common material, this type is no longer used commercially, and Colonial Williamsburg has only one source of supply, Quaker City Type Foundry in Pennsylvania. While type is still available, Colonial Williamsburg hopes to obtain as much as possible.
Gifts of any size are welcome to purchase type to have on hand for printing broadsides, booklets, and pamphlets.
Historic Trades Summer Internships
Colonial Williamsburg's Historic Trades program, begun in 1936, has evolved to become the largest and most diverse museum-operated trades program in the world and one of the most historically accurate, with a strong emphasis on hands-on practice and documentary research. Colonial Williamsburg currently practices 30 trades at more than 20 sites. Tradesmen and women represent the skills, ingenuity, and dedication to excellence on which American society and our economy were built. Internships offer interested individuals three-month experiences to learn about the trade(s), develop skills, gain public contact and service experience, and acquire insights about museum and living history careers.
Funds needed for 4 summer interns: $20,000
Historic Area Needs
Historic Area Costuming Accessories
More than 800 Colonial Williamsburg employees work in costume in the Historic Area, taverns, period stores, and special programs. Keeping them attired in reproduction 18th-century clothing and accessories is the responsibility of the Costume Design Center. Accessories include new and replacement eyewear and shoes; the goal is authenticity of appearance. Interpreters requiring eyeglasses are issued period-appropriate frames (typically with round lenses and wire frames and procured from a specialized vendor) which are fitted with their prescriptions. Interpreters' shoe styles vary to reflect the different life styles of 18th-century Williamsburg society. Colonial Williamsburg shoemakers make some shoes while others are manufactured in England and the U.S. ; each pair costs approximately $125.
Funds needed: $52,000 for annual shoe expenses and $5,000 for eyeglasses.
John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library
Documents of Freedom Fund
The John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library collections include rare items of great significance about the American Revolution in Williamsburg and Virginia. Among them are a copy of William Stone's 1823 facsimile of the Declaration of Independence; autographs of the signers of the Declaration; published works relating to the debate over American rights; and an original manuscript of Patrick Henry's 1765 Stamp Act Resolves. These materials are of inestimable value in illustrating the importance of what took place in Virginia and America from the 1760s to the 1780s when ideas were articulated that justified resistance to the British Crown and a shift in colonists' thinking that ultimately led to the creation of the new republic. With an endowment, Colonial Williamsburg plans to strengthen this special collection by acquiring additional rare books, manuscripts, letters, newspapers, treatises, broadsides, diaries, declarations of rights, state constitutions, and other documents that illuminate British and American views during this formative period in America's history. Having funds on hand, Colonial Williamsburg will be able to respond quickly when a document becomes available.
Gifts of any size are welcome; a $100,000 gift will create a named endowment.
The John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library has established a thriving program that brings scholars from all over the country to make use of its collections. Based on that success, an endowment is being created to support annually up to ten fellows whose work focuses on the colonial period, the American Revolution, and the early republic.
A $100,000 gift will establish a named endowment.
Collections, Conservation, and Museum Exhibitions
Cases for Wolstenholme Towne Metal Artifacts
Climate-controlled display cases are needed to protect fragile metal objects found at Carter's Grove's Wolstenholme Towne settlement. Excavated in 1976, the iron artifacts include domestic, agricultural, and military items, including helmets, pieces of armor, swords, gun parts, hoes, draw-knife, fireplace tong, and buttons. The objects are rare survivors that provide context for items found at Jamestown.
Funds needed: $37,000.
“Style, Function and Price: Buying Furniture in Early America”
This exhibition opening in 2014 will showcase Colonial Williamsburg's world-class collection of 18th-century furniture. The exhibit will allow visitors to pose as colonial consumers, exploring furniture style, construction, decoration, and price. Audio/video tours will permit guests to delve more deeply into these topics at their own pace.
Funds needed: $150,000.
Threads of Feeling, a loan exhibition from London's Foundling Museum, showcases the mid-18th-century records of infants left at the Foundling Hospital. The surviving tokens, fashioned from fabric pieces, ribbons, infant's clothing, and embroidered scraps, are poignant reminders of the abandoned children. The exhibition in its only North American venue opens in May 2013. It is supported in part by a grant from Mary and Clint Gilliland of Menlo Park, California, through the Turner-Gilliland Family Fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
Additional support of $70,000 is needed. Gifts of any size are welcome.
Paper Trail: Documenting Rites of Passage in German-Speaking America is to feature a selection of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum's collection of frakturs. These watercolors and illuminated manuscripts were created by German Americans especially from 1780-1830. The exhibition, opening June 2013 in the William and Mary Guyton Gallery, focuses on certificates documenting rites of passage, such as birth, baptism, and marriage, and representing a visually appealing tradition practiced by German immigrants.
Funding needed: $20,000.
Toys for the American Market (working title) features 19th-century German wooden toys opening in November 2013 in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Illustrations from the museum's original, hand-colored 1840s German toy catalog are included along with examples of German toys, such as a Noah's ark with 150 animal pairs, a wild animal menagerie, dolls, and an army camp with tents and soldiers.
The exhibition provides a glimpse into American children's playtime over 150 years ago. Funding needed: $30,000.
Digital Projector for Wallace Collections and Conservation Building
The Collections and Conservation Building's conference room is used for staff meetings, conference reports, presentation practice sessions, and webinar participation. The existing portable projector does not accurately project digital images and is often unavailable. A digital projector will enable the Conservation Department to illustrate their treatments accurately and be available for use by Collections, Conservation and Museums staff, donor groups, and outside visitors.
A mountable digital projector costs $1,800; adding a universal mount for $65 and a large screen for $75 would bring the total cost to $1,940.
Equipment: Laser Cleaner
Surgical lasers have become a valuable addition to the conservator's toolbox for cleaning historic and art object surfaces, such as artifacts, sculptures, and monuments. Unlike more traditional cleaning methods, lasers preserve patina, fine surface detail, and surface coatings. Colonial Williamsburg hopes to acquire a Lynton “Compact Phoenix” Conservation Laser Cleaning system, which is a small handheld laser connected to a desktop power supply. A laser cleaner will be useful for many conservators; in the objects lab, for example, it will allow for the easy removal of staining from ceramic objects. Our architectural conservator will be able to use it to safely and quickly clean the heavily used stone and brick steps and architectural walkways in the Historic Area.
Funds to acquire this equipment: $50,000.
Sponsor a Colonial Williamsburg Connect webcast that encourages online discussion and debate about how the nation's principles came to be, what it takes to sustain them, and why this is critical. The website (http://connect.history.org) includes video and audio documentaries and commentary on current issues and encourages audience participation. Topics for 2013 include Our Diverse Nation (spring), American Ideals (summer), Defending the Republic (fall), each theme linked to Historic Area programs.
A gift of $7,500 funds one webcast.
Electronic Field Trips Make History Come Alive
Colonial Williamsburg's annual series of Electronic Field Trips inspires students in grades 4-8 with the stories, people and events that created the American nation. Designed to engage and inform, these nationally broadcast programs allow participants to ask on-the-air questions of Colonial Williamsburg interpreters, historians, and educators and to interact with other students through websites that include projects, Web adventures, primary source documents, and electronic bulletin boards. Registration also includes teachers' guides with pre- and post-broadcast lesson plans.
A gift of $500 provides your local school (or another school) with the seven-program series offered during the school year.
Fund a Scholarship to the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute
Give a teacher the opportunity to attend the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute, a week-long professional development program that immerses teachers in early American history. Lodging, meals, and a wealth of instructional materials are included. To date, more than 6,000 educators have completed the program, returning to their classrooms better prepared to teach American history and citizenship.
A $1,900 gift plus funds for transportation (or frequent flyer miles) will send a teacher to Williamsburg for a week's experience that many past teacher participants have defined as “transformative. ”
Sponsor a Teaching American History Conference
Help Colonial Williamsburg bring living history experiences to teachers in their school districts through 1- or 2-day conferences on teaching American history. In workshops around the country, teachers explore historical content, analyze primary sources, participate in simulations, and role play with Colonial Williamsburg's character interpreters. Each conference helps teachers meet academic-content standards, learn innovative teaching strategies, and support interdisciplinary studies. Teachers receive lesson plans, facsimile primary sources, reproduction artifacts, and one live Colonial Williamsburg Electronic Field Trip broadcast to their classrooms.
A $30,000 gift provides up to 75 teachers from your school district (or another district) with this workshop to increase their history knowledge and acquire lesson plans and classroom resources.
Bringing Colonial Williamsburg to You: Podcasts/Vodcasts
Visitors to Colonial Williamsburg's website, www.history.org, can sample the 18th- and 21st-centuries by downloading podcasts, 15-minute audio programs. Using podcast software, such as iTunes or iPodder, podcasts (audio interviews) and vodcasts (video interviews) are downloadable at the listener's convenience and played on a computer or portable media player. Weekly interviews are conversational, informational, and cover a wide range of topics. The programs take you behind the scenes to meet historical interpreters, musicians, tradesmen, curators, chefs, historians, and more.
A gift of $40,000 provides weekly podcasts and vodcasts for a year. We welcome gifts of any size.
Kids Zone, an award-winning Web site developed for five-to-ten-year-olds, makes learning history fun and interactive. Illustrated characters guide young viewers through games, activities, and resources about colonial American life. Children can create and send electronic postcards; play games about historic trades, rare animal breeds, archaeology, gardening, and the American founders; write with a quill pen; solve word searches; beat a drum to music played by Colonial Williamsburg Fifers and Drummers; or dress an 18th-century paper doll. They use a 3D map to "Tour the Town" to see where people lived and worked. Special "zoomable" slideshows offer detailed views of historic documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.
Annual funding needed is $50,000; your gift of any size is welcome.
- Colonial Williamsburg seeks to make its innovative high school curriculum, The Idea of America™, available to the general public in book form. A paperback by Vice President of Productions, Publications, and Learning Ventures William White with Michael Hartoonian and Richard Van Scotter fully explores this new way of looking at history and civics. The book shows how a series of “value tensions”—freedom vs. equality, unity vs. diversity, private wealth vs. common wealth, law vs. ethics—have shaped debates throughout our history. Funds needed: $25,000.
- Why the Turkey Didn't Fly by Colonial Williamsburg Publications Director Paul Aron. How the eagle become our national symbol, what Betsy Ross really had to with the flag, and other stories behind such American icons as Yankee Doodle, Uncle Sam, and the Liberty Bell. Funds needed: $20,000.
- 18th-Century Fun for Kids edited by Colonial Williamsburg editor Amy Watson. Games and activities, rhymes and riddles, stories and songs, and more. Funds needed: $25,000.
- History is Served by Colonial Williamsburg Foodways staff. An overview of 18th-century foodways, including techniques, equipment, and a sampling of recipes with modern adaptations. Funds needed: $40,500.
- If We Don't Tell the Story, Who Will? by Colonial Williamsburg researcher Ywone Edwards-Ingram. A history of African-American interpretation at Colonial Williamsburg, featuring interviews with interpreters and profiles of the historical figures they play. Funds needed: $37,500.
Recognition on the Visitor Center Donor Plaque
At the Visitor Center, Colonial Williamsburg recognizes those donors whose cumulative gifts exceed $100,000. Your endowment will help with the restoration and conservation of historic buildings, archaeology, innovative programming, museums, educational outreach, costumes for interpreters, carriages, preservation of rare animal breeds—in short, everything Colonial Williamsburg does. If a particular aspect of Colonial Williamsburg's mission appeals to you, it is also possible to establish a restricted endowment for that purpose.
A gift of $100,000 establishes a named endowment, and your name is listed as a major donor and included in Colonial Williamsburg's Annual Report.
Kimball Theatre Programming Endowment Fund
The Kimball Theatre in Williamsburg's Merchants Square offers excellent entertainment seven days a week. A first-rate movie house for more than six decades, the theater has become a favorite venue for Williamsburg's artistic, educational, religious, and cultural events. Visitors can listen to Colonial Williamsburg patriots such as George Washington and Patrick Henry, and musical and dramatic productions. Founding and sustaining benefactors are publicly recognized on permanent plaques in the theater's lobby.
A gift of $5,000 will ensure that your name is listed as a major contributor.
Jamestown Rediscovery Project
In 2010, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Preservation Virginia formed a partnership to showcase the Jamestown Rediscovery Project and the connected histories of Jamestown and Williamsburg through fascinating stories of discovery, diversity and democracy. This collaboration greatly enhances the archaeological exploration and historical interpretation of the original 1607 site of James Fort, the first permanent English colony in the New World. Visitors can walk in the footsteps of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas at the fort site and share in the moments of discovery as archaeologists uncover artifacts that tell the story of America's beginnings.
To make a special gift to Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-888-CWF-1776 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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