We are writing you as a staff, to share Five Oaks Museum’s journey through this profound historic moment with you. We wish that we could know this letter finds you in good health and good spirits, but that is not the nature of this shared experience. We send you courage if you are afraid; strength if you are ill; tenderness if you are grieving. If you are among the fortunate to be spared those difficulties, then we hope you might join our work with your support.
One year ago this museum was in dire need. The support we received at that time from people like you enabled the beginning of a new life for the organization. We adapted together, both structurally and operationally, to stabilize the museum and develop the agility necessary to be responsive to community needs.
None of us could have known then that the museum was cultivating the skills and systems that would allow us to carry on unwavering during a worldwide crisis today. Unexpectedly, when the shock wave of the pandemic hit here, our state of recent renewal—as Five Oaks Museum we are not yet four months old—positioned us at the crest and spared us from being washed under.
Our recent renewal positioned us to orient our work toward new realities as they take shape. We have already situated ourselves as a platform for the community and its voices, and now we can directly translate that across our social media platforms. The website we recently launched to increase digital access now makes a ready home to our newly expanding collection of virtual museum content.
We stabilized our foundation in core human values; now they offer an unfaltering compass to navigate this tumultuous time.
The museum is incredibly fortunate to have this moment of stability right now, thanks to your past generosity. All five staff members are still employed, still have access to healthcare, and still have the honor of serving through our work.
Existing educational programs are being rapidly transformed into enriching content for older adults, and support for youth and families learning at home. Your reflections on this historic moment and cultural reckoning are being added to the museum’s archive through our Community Journal. At the same time, we are looking to the future; as museums all over the world face financial ruin from closures, it is a privilege that we can look forward at all. That privilege is also a responsibility: to protect the history that already lives within the museum’s walls, to respond to the immediate needs of those around us, and to help shape the future that emerges from this moment. You are an essential partner in fulfilling that responsibility.
With your donation today, we can build a future together where every person has access to nourishing cultural content that reflects and is shaped by their communities.
With deepest appreciation
from the entire museum staff,
Victoria, Rachel, Mariah, Nathanael, and Molly