It seems that 2017 came and went in not much more than the blink of an eye. But I’m happy to report that despite the relentless pace, much was accomplished, and the Museum of Making Music not only had a successful year, it was a record-breaking one as well. With more than 43,000 visitors, almost 9,000 student fieldtrip participants, more than 50 live music performances, a gala that set a new standard of excellence, a trailblazing new model for benefit concerts, popular new special exhibitions, effective spending, and a clear strategic vision, we can look back and feel a sense of satisfaction at the positive tangible effect of our work. We can also look forward and know that we are facing the future from a position of strength and vitality.
The Museum’s strategic direction for the next three years includes: scaling operations to ensure measured and healthy growth; updating and refreshing the core exhibition galleries; creating world-class special exhibitions; connecting with audiences and supporters through innovative marketing initiatives; impacting our communities through unique programming; raising sustaining and capital funds; and advancing the Museum’s identity as a live music venue. (And those are just the highlights!)
While you will be hearing more about all these initiatives in the coming months and years, I would like to take just a moment here to comment on one of them: the refreshing of the core exhibition galleries, an undertaking we call the “Museum Renovation Project.” This past year, working with the renowned Bay Area design firm Weldon Exhibits, we completed an initial concept design package that reorganizes the Museum’s central storyline in the permanent exhibition galleries. In the new plan, the Museum content will shift from its current chronological approach to one that will explore the history of the music products industry through the lens of instrument families (or product communities). The new design also calls for an infusion of updated technology such as digital signage, projection areas, and additional hands-on stations. Stay tuned for exciting updates on this multi-year, multi-faceted project.
I believe it’s healthy to document and celebrate the results of our work and our plans for the future, but I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that we accomplish all this work because of our terrific staff. As we look to 2018, we find a team that is firmly in place with an exciting mix of veteran staff and some newcomers as well—one of whom you will meet below. And complementing this great team is a truly impressive corps of volunteers who donated more time in 2017 than in any previous year: a whopping 8,528 hours, representing a 10.3% increase over last year. Because of their consistently outstanding service, our visitor surveys remain strong. Of those that took the survey, 100% indicate that they would recommend MoMM to a friend or relative. Those are numbers that make us proud.
In closing, as I watch 2018 gradually come into full view, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to you, our members and supporters, for believing in our Museum project and for joining us on this daily adventure. Please enjoy this new issue of NOTES, and check our website and Facebook page frequently for upcoming concerts, family Make ‘N’ Play days, band and orchestra programs for adults, benefit concerts, and—of course—exciting special exhibitions unlike any others!
Happy New Year.