March 7, 2013
Dear Members, Interns and Friends of the SAHS,
Your support of the Springfield Art and Historical Society is an invaluable resource for
our town and for those whose connection to Springfield is an important part of their lives.
The collections, internship program, guest speakers and exhibits have served generations.
Since January 1st of this year, I serve as SAHS president. I am joined by fellow officers
Jim Fog, vice president, Susan Fog, secretary, and Christine Chlebak, treasurer, as well as
the Board members, curators and program coordinators listed below.
Our charge, to guide the organization and implement its mission of service, has never
been more challenging. When my fellow board members and I began our service in
January of this year, we found ourselves with funds insufficient to meet our financial
obligations through the next 6 months, let alone heat our building through the winter.
Disbanding the society and ceding our collections seemed our most realistic options.
This Board of Trustees, however, did not sign on for such a future. Like you, we believe
our collections, our interns, and our programsbelong, in every sense of the word, right
here in Springfield.
Here's what we've done so far.
To start, the Board met every week throughout January to devise, implement and monitor
a plan of fiscal responsibility and practical action. On advice from Rick Kerschner,
director of preservation and conservation at the Shelburne Museum, we turned our
thermostat as low as it could go, and finally, asked Board member Ken Stringham to
replumb our water lines, drain them and shut off the heat completely, all while
monitoring humidity to avoid risk to our collections. Intern coordinators John Swanson
and Emily Stringham moved their activities off site for the season. We have suspended
Internet service. While maintaining low-wattage lighting vital to security, we have
extinguished all other outside illumination.
These sacrifices are significant, but alone they won't be enough.
At the suggestion of Ann Cousins from the Preservation Trust of Vermont, I have
contacted the Vermont Community Foundation for guidance and support in securing
emergency funding. Christine Chlebak is organizing our financial books so we can
confirm our 501c3 status with the IRS. Last Friday, Ann herself visited the Miller Art
Center with a panel of preservation experts from around the state to verify the condition
of the building and to propose options for establishing financial stability. Their
conclusion was that our collections are safe in the Miller building, for now, but that the
cost of maintaining the mansion may one day force us to relocate within Springfield.
Know that if we do, it will only happen with assurances that both the historic value of the
Miller property and the opportunities provided by any new location would meet or
exceed the demands of our mission. We have, in fact, visited sites that would actually
increase dramatically both visits to our collections and program opportunities for our
members and the public.
Here's how you can help.
Your input, your volunteering, your good will, and your donations and membership dues
are the rock on which we build. Your memberships and donations are by far our largest
source of income. Despite this and our pressing need for funding, we on the Board have
waited until now, mid-March, to contact you, because we wanted first to be sure your
dollars would be used as you intended, to ensure the protection and availability of our
collections and services, even as we move ahead with our website, digitization and
In the coming weeks I will be reaching out to as many community partners as possible,
but before that we must get our own finances in order and with your help, we can. With
your support, the Springfield Art and Historical Society will serve for generations to
come, creating a legacy itself worth mention in the history of Springfield. Please give
Jim Chlebak, President
Jim Fog, Vice President
Susan Fog, Secretary
Christine Chlebak, Treasurer
Alan Fusonie, Board Member
Lisa Murray, Board Member
Mimi Stringham, Board Member
Emily Stringham, Board Member/Textiles Curator/Intern Coordinator
Ken Stringham, Board Member/Art Curator
John Swanson, Library Curator/Intern CoordinatorTeresa Janiszyn, Artifacts Curator/Intern Coordinator
SPRINGFIELD ART & HISTORICAL SOCIETY 2013
PLEASE MAIL TO –
Art & Historical Society, Springfield P.O. Box 313, Springfield, VT 05156
INDIVIDUAL $20.00 __ FAMILY $35.00 __ DONOR $50.00 __ SPONSOR $100.00 __ OTHER $______
THANK YOU! QUESTIONS CALL (802)-885-2415
E-Mail @ firstname.lastname@example.org on the web @ www.springfieldartandhistoricalsociety.org