Friday, May 1, 2009

Everyone's Martin House

Economic slump, downturn or recession. Call it what you will, this economic climate has affected businesses, consumers and not-for-profits alike, producing a wave of belt-tightening and scaling back.

Not-for-profits may fare no better or worse than their for-profit counterparts in the midst of this crisis, but they do face a unique convergence of factors, some more obvious than others. At the same time that wages and "disposable" income may be shrinking and limiting casual audience support of cultural attractions like the Martin House, major donors to these same culturals are feeling the pinch and making hard choices about what to support - and at what level. More indirectly (but still significantly) ancillary funding for restoration, collections research and care, and educational activities from traditional sources such as the New York State Council on the Arts dries up rather quickly when budgets are in turmoil on the state or federal level. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery announced its plan recently to freeze hiring, curtail staff travel and close the gallery entirely for a week in May to help balance its budget. On all levels, support for cultural institutions is often the first thing to go when times are tough, and previous levels of support are o
ften not re-established when the economy does improve.

So, by now you're asking, "what can I do to help the Martin House continue its restoration efforts and current level of public programming?" Here's a short list - suitable for putting on the fridge for easy reference:
  • Take a tour of the Martin House complex. If you haven't been since March 2009, you're in for a treat: our new Visitor Center, the Greatbatch Pavilion, adds a whole new dimension to the visitor experience.
  • Buy something in our Wisteria Museum Shop. There are lots of great new items this spring, and it's the perfect place to pick up something distinctive for the mom, dad, grad, bride or groom on your list.
  • Renew - or initiate - a membership; our Martin House Associates program comes with an array of great benefits, and your annual membership is a great way to help support YOUR Martin House.
  • Buy a ticket or two to one of our upcoming lectures, concerts or other special events.
  • Slip a five, ten or twenty spot into the beautiful new donation box in the Greatbatch Pavilion - there's nothing like the archival-quality look of money under pristine plexiglass!
  • Continue to share your time and talents with the MHRC as a Martin House Volunteer...
Remember the Rosie the Riveter campaign during the War effort? Well, we may not be at war with Wall Street or the Federal Reserve, but all the same, keep this in mind: when the Martin House Volunteers put their minds to it, WE CAN DO IT!

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