Dear Friends of ESAM,
We are hitting the ground running this spring as your museum prepares for another great year at ESAM. Since my last message to you in January, our volunteers have taken on a number of initiatives that are critical to our forward momentum.
The final parts of the Concorde model were delivered to ESAM in late March. We have spent a lot of time and effort during the last year (not to mention the many trips to the Cradle of Aviation) required to disassemble and move this 100 ft long, 24,000 lb 50% scale “new exhibit “ for ESAM. Trustees John Panoski and Dan Wilson never stop believing that in spite of the massive undertaking, ESAM will put the right combination of resources together for the next steps. Remember…Albany has its Nipper on Broadway…Glenville will have its Concorde on Saratoga Rd.
Renovating the Gallery 2 Annex (WWII Room) is moving ahead, with Trustee John Kolwaite’s vision, craftsmanship and hard work on new exhibits. During the past winter season, the room has been stripped, painted and new carpet installed. Our completion date is still a firm June 15, 2018 opening. Speaking about Gallery 2, Jack Keem, Bob Lavery, Bob Tomlinson and Ralph Rosenthal are putting the finishing touches on the Malta exhibit and Battaglia Space Hall. Next project will be the Akagi, and developing a robust barrier that keeps visitors and the exhibit safe.
Our Airpark is one of the many gems here at ESAM, but keeping the collection of 25 aircraft has always been a challenge for the Restoration volunteers. This year, we will introduce “Adopt a Plane” program that will seek local groups to spend a few hours this spring/summer cleaning and polishing our fleet. Restoration volunteer Gary Davis has accepted the challenge of running the program and has already signed on several groups.
The ESAM Memorial Park is undergoing a major renovation, led by Lou Bach, a volunteer in the Restorations group. This winter, all of the engraved bricks were cleaned and repainted. This spring, we will move the park to a new location that includes benches and landscaping. Our goal is to make the park more accessible, less maintenance and generate new interest. If you would like to buy a brick, the rules have not changed, just fill out an application!
Beginning June 1, 2018 ESAM will be instituting a Membership Rewards Program that will encourage members to move into the VIP Category. A very nominal dues increase will also begin on June 1, 2018 renewals. We will also be looking at how we increase our business memberships in the museum.
The ESAM Hangar Dance will be on September 15, 2018 so Save the Date! This will be our major fundraiser this year. Your support is really needed.
Finally, we have some organizational changes to report:
* Donna Esposito the Research Center Director has an incredible opportunity outside of ESAM. We wish her well and thank her for many changes that will have a lasting impact on the museum. Concurrently, Phil Kennicott and Maury York have accepted the role of Co-Directors of the Vander Veer Research Center. * Joyce Newkirk has also accepted the additional role of Chief Operating Officer of ESAM. The creation of this position is in recognition that as we continue to grow, a professional organization will be required to manage our business.
As you can see, there is a lot going on around here, and this note only scratches the surface. I hope you can get over to the museum and see some of the things your museum is doing, with a very committed group of volunteers. Your support means a lot to us and the community.