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Highlights from the 2017/2018 year:
Tours and Rentals
- 1,538 people visited the Dawes House for individual tours and 660 people for group tours.
- 1,653 people visited the Dawes House for Open House Chicago weekend.
- 79 people attended 9 walking tours, 36 people attended 1 private event walking tour, 48 people attended 2 bus tours of Evanston, including our first Prairie School in Evanston bus tour.
- 7 volunteers served as docents giving tours of the Dawes House.
- 4 elementary schools brought school group tours.
- 22 groups representing 2,031 individuals rented the Dawes House for special events including weddings, receptions, concerts, fundraisers, picnics, memorial services, and birthday parties.
Research and Archives Projects
- There were 143 phone, email and mail requests for information, a 12% increase.
- 339 people visited the EHC archives for research projects.
- We had 3 volunteers and 4 interns working in the archives on various projects.
- Collections work in the archives included accessioning, processing and storing new and existing collections. We added 11 new collections to the archival collection. We also continued adding collections to our online collection database.
- Dewey School second grade students participated in a local history research project, researching their homes using primary sources.
- Evanston High School Senior Studies students researched their homes using primary sources.
- We partnered with Northwestern University Library and the Chabraja Center to digitize historic Evanston newspapers. This project will continue in 2018.
- We received 26 new donations to the collections: 11 artifact donations, 12 archival and 2 costume.
- EHC Costume Collection staff continued to engage in a major assessment of the holdings in the collection and continued the upgrading of records of existing collection items. This includes taking digital photographs of collection items.
Dawes House Restoration
- EHC received a major commitment from Tawani Foundation for the capital campaign including an outright grant and a challenge grant. EHC will engage in an aggressive campaign to meet Tawani’s challenge grant.
- Planning for Phase 3 of the conservation management program is now complete.
- The Dawes House Library was officially renamed the Frank and Phoebe Foster Library in honor of a lead campaign gift from Tim and Joy Foster.
- The fireplace in the Dawes Family Parlor was officially renamed for the Daughters of the American Revolution Fort Dearborn Chapter in honor of their gift.
- East terrace urns were planted thanks to a board member dedicated donation.
- Carpeting on the main staircase was repaired by a Persian artisan from Minasian Rug Company.
- The History Center now has a T Coil, hearing loop to aid our hearing impaired visitors, this was made possible through a generous donation.
EHC Programs, Events, and Exhibits
- The 43rd Annual Mother’s Day House Walk was our most successful yet. A new sponsorship relationship was formed with Evanston Community Bank, A Wintrust Family bank.
- A total of 500+ people attended 6 Under the Buffalo presentations on topics ranging from Jackie Kennedy to Green Architecture. Whole Foods generously provided cheese trays for the receptions.
- In honor of Women’s History Month, EHC and EWHP co-hosted a presentation by Northwestern University professor Pamela Bannos, “Vivian Maier: A Photographer’s Life and Afterlife”
- In the fall of 2017, EHC officially launched the “EHC press” with an article in the fall issue of Timelines and the unveiling of a new logo. Upcoming in 2018 is EHC Press’ publication of a book documenting the 1968 takeover of the Bursar’s Office at Northwestern University.
- EHC hosted its first two “Pop Up” events: a workshop on Self-Publishing and Print on Demand and a presentation on the Shure microphone in connection with the exhibit, “Listen Up.”
- EHC’s podcast series was re-launched with an interview with Kris Hartzell, curator of “Listen Up.”
- Evanston on the Go, EHC’s new travel program, welcomed 170 guests in November on a trip that explored the yellow and purple el lines. Guests were transported in vintage CTA rail cars while historians from CTA narrated the 3-hour long excursion.
- 60 people attended the FY17 Annual Meeting.
- We held our annual Ice Cream Social with approximately 600 people attending. Andy’s Frozen Custard generously donated treats for our guests.
- Melody In August, EHC’s annual summer fundraising gala, was held August 26th.
- 650 people attended the annual Holiday Open House.
- The 12th Annual Food Drive was held in December 2017. Several 100 lbs of food were collected and donated to an Evanston food pantry.
- “Listen Up!: An Exhibit of Audio Technology” featured a wide variety of machinery for audio communication from the EHC collection. The exhibit opened in February and will close in August.
- Our partnership with At Home in Chicago, a group of Chicago area house museums, continued. Eden Juron Pearlman stepped down from the leadership committee after three years of service.
- Eden Juron Pearlman has become active in the newly formed Evanston Not-for-Profit Executive Director’s roundtable.
- The partnership with Evanston Public Library (EPL) and EHC continued with EHC hosting a book discussion as part in EPL’s “Evanston Reads” of Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine.
- EHC continued its partnership with the local Evanston bookstore, Bookends and Beginnings, to provide books for sales and signings at events.
- Six separate custom designed mailings sent out to 700+ members and organizations. Seven separate custom designed graphics and marketing materials created for special programs (special tours, etc) and sent through social media and email.
- Marketing efforts for all events resulted in EHC’s events being promoted in Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, Evanston Review, Chicago Sun-Times, and numerous other places. EHC also marketed events through targeted posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- EHC’s website, Twitter feed, Instagram, and Facebook (FB) page were regularly updated. Currently (May 2018) EHC has: 1,166 Facebook followers, 995 Twitter followers, and 195 Instagram followers. EHC also hosts a Youtube page, and a Flickr account for images.
- EHC e-newsletter was sent regularly and the format was updated. Fall and Spring issues of Timelines were sent to members.
- Staff gave talks at the University Guild, The Mather, Three Crowns Park, Rotary and Kiwanis Club.
The Evanston Women’s History Project
- The Evanston Women’s History Project (EWHP) continued to be based at EHC.
- The Vickie Burke Internship for Women’s History was filled by a graduate student from Loyola University who completed a research project on the suffrage movement. This research was completed as part of our preparations for celebrating the 2020 suffrage anniversary.
- For Women’s History Month in March, the EWHP held a breakfast event on International Women’s Day and co-sponsored an Under the Buffalo lecture with the Frances Willard House Museum.