Donations to the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc., Annual Fund are critical to maintain the educational programs that bring history to life for hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren and museum visitors each year. From a replica of the Declaration of Independence for a teacher workshop, to reproduction 17th-century shoes for a costumed historical interpreter, annual giving provides the tools that help us do more than teach history – they help us to inspire a lifelong love of history.
Volunteers are needed to offer time and expertise to both museums – Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown – in historical interpretation, the sailing program, visitor services, and the museums’ libraries.
Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown are leading centers of education and tourism. Through nationally recognized living-history programs and museum galleries, they tell the stories of where and how America began. Living-history areas complement the museums’ exhibition galleries by involving visitors in interactive, hands-on learning. Special exhibitions and themed programs and events offer opportunities to explore topics in greater depth. While the Foundation receives partial operating support from the Commonwealth of Virginia and earns income through museum admissions, private donations made a critical difference in our ability to engage and educate the 548,341 visitors to our museums in 2016. Special exhibitions and themed programs and events were part of that visitor experience. The Foundation continued its successful program of special exhibitions at Jamestown Settlement with “Clayton &
Catesby: Botanical Virginia,” which opened December 5, 2015 and explored documentation
of native plants by naturalist Mark Catesby and botanist John Clayton in the 18th
century. A December 10, 2015
lecture, “Plants of the Virginia Colony,” launched a
series of exhibit-themed public programs.
Bartering for a
Continent: How Anglo-Indian Trade Shaped America,” subsequently ran from June 4
through December 10, 2016 at Jamestown Settlement. The special exhibition
explored the story of trade between American Indians and English colonists,
from the founding of Jamestown through the American Revolution, and the role of
Virginia in the development of a new world of exchange in goods and commodities
across the North American continent. Special event programming, some of which was underwritten with private funding, including an “American
Indian Intertribal Powwow” in October 2016 and “Foods and Feasts of Colonial
Virginia” over the Thanksgiving holiday in November 2016 complemented themes of
this special exhibition.
Foundation collection contains more than 200,000 archaeological and non-archaeological
artifacts. Thanks to private funds, seventeen artifacts were acquired during
the 2016 fiscal year for exhibit in the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown’s
galleries, bringing the total objects exhibited at the new museum close to 500. A total of 185 new artifacts have been acquired for the new museum's galleries since July 2010. Among the objects acquired was a rare Revolution-period firearm – a first model
“Brown Bess” British infantry musket. One object was acquired for Jamestown
Settlement, a teapot produced by famous Colonial Williamsburg ceramics maker
Palin Thorley for the 1957 celebration of Jamestown’s 350th year.
The Foundation’s collections policy reflects an emphasis on public education and
exhibition by acquiring objects that are central to a dynamic exhibits program.
All artifacts in our collection are given a high standard of care. Our
conservation facilities give us the capacity to carry out the full range of
collection care that is expected and required of a fully accredited
During the 2015-2016
academic year, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation education programs served 271,211
students through hands-on sessions and guided tours at both museums and in
outreach settings. Private grants and donations made through the Foundation,
Inc., made the critical difference to thousands of Virginia schoolchildren
living in under-served districts: 2,000
were able to take part in a field trip to one of our museums, and 3,318 were
able to participate in an outreach program in their classroom, all at no cost
to them, their teachers, or their schools.
At Jamestown Settlement, students on field trips participated in structured programs where they explored the diverse cultures at Jamestown, discovered the world of the Powhatan Indians, learned about navigation and the English voyage to the New World, investigated early forms of government, and analyzed the plants and animals of early colonial Virginia. At the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, students learned about colonial life and what it was like to be a soldier in the Continental Army, explored the lifestyle of Revolutionary-era farmers, investigated techniques of colonial medicine, and discussed the American Revolution and the creation of a new nation. These programs support several of Virginia’s history and social science Standards of Learning (SOLs) for “Virginia Studies” and “United States History to 1865.” The programs stimulate student interest and achievement in history and increase their ability to think critically and analytically.
As we draw near the grand opening of the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, planned for March 23 through April 4, 2017, the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation invites its community of supporters to help finalize the new museum and its education programs. The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc., Board of Directors have set a total Campaign goal of $15 million to support gallery exhibits, outdoor exhibits, educational resources, campaign administration, and the Annual Fund. As of February 28, 2017 commitments from individuals, foundations, and organizations totaled $14.3 million, or 95% of the Campaign goal. A sense of urgency is mounting as the Foundation, Inc., seeks the remaining $700,000 from private donors to complete the Campaign for Support and finalize the remaining elements of the new museum and its educational programs by the end of the 2017 Fiscal Year. The Campaign for Support offers numerous opportunities for meaningful investment to create, sustain, and preserve the story of the American Revolution.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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