New Part-Time Coordinator
The Colchester Historical Society is pleased to announce that Joanie DiMartino has been hired as the part-time Coordinator of Museum Administration & Communications. DiMartino has an MA in public history from Rutgers University and over twenty years’ experience in history museum oversight and management, gained from work at the Kentucky Historical Society, Mystic Seaport, and several historic house museums in her home state of New Jersey, as well as in Kentucky and Connecticut. Her scholarly background is in the Progressive-Era woman suffrage movement, specifically the militant activism of Alice Paul.
Over the past two years DiMartino has participated in the StEPS-CT professional development program for small cultural organizations, working with small historic house museums in Southeastern Connecticut as a consultant. She recently was a featured speaker at the Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition Thrive! conference on the ”How We Lived Then: Historic House Trail” brochure that was a collaborative endeavor between 16 historic houses in New London County, which included the Colchester Historical Society.
Angela George, CHS Co-President remarked, “The Board of Governors are thrilled to have Joanie join us. Joanie is an experienced museum professional. As fellow participants of CTHumanities’ StePsCT program for history organizations. Gigi Liverant, Joanie and myself have learned so much about running a high-quality organization. Now we have an excellent opportunity to use many of these practices for improving our programs and services for the people Colchester”.
Fellow Co-President, Gigi Liverant added, “The Colchester Historical Society looks forward to offering engaging and relevant programs to the community with the help of Joanie DiMartino’s skilled assistance.”
DiMartino hopes to reach new audiences as well as welcome long-time supporters through different program offerings, assist with new exhibit development, increase CHS collections, and strive to keep Colchester’s history relevant for the community through collaborative work with schools, community groups, and other local and regional museums.
The Colchester Historical Society is proud to announce the successful completion of StEPS-CT, or Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations (StEPs).
The Colchester Historical Society was one of 23 small cultural and heritage organizations which recently completed this intensive 2-year program. CHS received support and training via curriculum-based workshops; coaching from a dedicated mentor; and access to a Connecticut Humanities grant fund earmarked for initiatives related to achieving StEPs-CT program standards.
Over the course of the program, the Colchester Historical Society achieved bronze and silver certificates in six areas of museum practice. Through continued work on a self-study basis, CHS plans to continue to strive for gold certification in all StEPS Units. “This is just the beginning,” said CHS Co-President Gigi Liverant, “we are so grateful for StEPS-CT for all that we’ve learned, and we plan to continue developing procedures and policies that establish Colchester Historical Society as the premier steward of Colchester’s history and heritage.”
“Our experience with StEPS-CT has been invaluable,” Angela George, Co-President of CHS added. “From improved signage that has increased visitation to the museum, to implementing current policies that guide our volunteers through daily operations, StEPS-CT has improved our organization. We can now provide better programs to our community, and we are now better able to tell our audiences our local histories and preserve our heritage through our unique collections and images.”
StEPs-CT is a program of Connecticut Humanities and the Connecticut League of History Organizations, in partnership with Connecticut Historical Society, based on a curriculum of best practices developed by the American Association for State and Local History.
Connecticut’s program was the first to integrate the national StEPs curriculum and is viewed as a model for similar programs across the country, according to Scott Wands, manager of grants and programs at Connecticut Humanities.
Connecticut Humanities, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, provides opportunities to explore the history, literature and the vibrant culture that make our state, cities and towns attractive places to live and work. Learn more by visiting www.cthumanities.org.
The Connecticut League of History Organizations (CLHO) builds connections among those who preserve and share the stories and objects of our past. Learn more by visiting www.clho.org.