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NEW BEGINNINGS!

YES IT’S TRUE . NEW THINGS are happening all around us, and we expect that will be the case in the exciting months to come. New affiliations, new canal walks, new mascots, new building buzz, and more!

EXCITING NEWS arrived on the day of our Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees. ATHM has become an Affiliate of the SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION , and this prestigious accord will allow us to collaborate on a number of different levels in association with the Smithsonian Institution. We are eager to expand our relationship with such an esteemed institution which, like us, holds a great collection of artifacts of great historical significance. America is a great country, and we are pleased to be telling stories of its history in association with the Smithsonian Institution.

At the Board meeting, the leaders of CAMPAIGN for the AMERICAN TEXTILE HISTORY MUSEUM were honored for their outstanding work in guiding the campaign to 97.5% of its goal. We have now raised $3.75 million of the $3.9 million ($4.75 million of $4.9 million when the Maine Community Foundation’s $1 million match is included). Pictured left to right are campaign co-chair Ruth Ward, Marisa Tescione Fagan of the Advancement Department, Linda Carpenter, Advancement Director, Campaign Co-chair and Board of Trustees Chairman Ken McAvoy, and yours truly, ATHM President Jim Coleman. Also recognized were honorary chairs Ed Stevens and Sam Rogers.

Pictured left to right are campaign co-chair Ruth Ward, Marisa Tescione Fagan of the Advancement Department, Linda Carpenter, Advancement Director, Campaign Co-chair and Board of Trustees Chairman Ken McAvoy, and yours truly, ATHM President Jim Coleman.

Pictured left to right are campaign co-chair Ruth Ward, Marisa Tescione Fagan of the Advancement Department, Linda Carpenter, Advancement Director, Campaign Co-chair and Board of Trustees Chairman Ken McAvoy, and yours truly, ATHM President Jim Coleman.

THE BIDS ARE IN! Yes, the bids are in from the 3 remaining general contractors who placed bids on the building phase of the construction for the renovated core exhibit, TEXTILE REVOLUTION – AN EXPLORATION THROUGH SPACE AND TIME . Bid due diligence is now underway, which will shortly lead to contractor selection and construction. I’m already practicing heaving my sledge hammer for the demo phase!

ATHM has been interviewing candidates for the position of Museum Mascot . I was so in awe of this happy go lucky sheep’s skills of persuasiveness, she won the job on the spot. The only problem is that since the sheep can only say baaaaaaaaaaaa, we don’t know her name. Consequently the search is underway to name our new best friend. If you’ve got an idea, e-mail me at jcoleman@athm.org.

Name our new best friend

Name our new best friend

ANOTHER NEW THING IS the construction taking place directly outside my window

My office overlooks the WESTERN CANAL looking to the South, and looking to the East the confluence of the WESTERN, PAWTUCKET, HAMILTON, and MIDDLESEX canals at the SWAMP LOCKS. The NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK and the CITY of LOWELL are building a new canal walk along the WESTERN CANAL. A few pictures follow, which show the work along the canal that travels into the ACRE neighborhood. The bridge being removed used to be part of WORTHEN St. which ran through what is now the parking lot of ATHM.

New canal walk along the western canal

New canal walk along the western canal

Construction taking place

Construction taking place

Construction taking place

Construction taking place