Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Greenwich Historical Society Inc

  • Cos Cob, CT
  • www.greenwichhistory.org

Mission Statement

THE GREENWICH HISTORICAL SOCIETY INSPIRES PEOPLE TO MAKE PERSONAL CONNECTIONS WITH THE PAST. WE USE STORIES AND OBJECTS FROM GREENWICH TO ILLUMINATE THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.

The Greenwich Historical Society provides education programs to more than 3,300 students annually; and reaches an additional 7,000 people each year through bi-annual changing exhibitions, library/archive services, public programs and events. Marketing research indicates that serving as a repository for Greenwich history and bringing our site and collections to life through education programs and exhibitions are values of the highest priority to our membership and community. In honoring these values, the Historical Society designs programs that explore the diverse stories that shape our community - not only to foster better knowledge of our local history, but to inspire people to engage in critical thinking about issues that shape our lives today and our future.

Main Programs

  1. Bush-Holley House
  2. Library & Archives
  3. Storehouse Gallery
  4. School Programs
Service Areas

Self-reported

Connecticut

The Greenwich Historical Society primarily serves a local audience through the library and archives, rotating exhibitions and education programs. However it also serves visitors to Bush-Holley House from around the world and supports research requests by phone and online. Current efforts to digitize the Greenwich Historical Society's vast collections of personal papers, genealogical material, photographs, maps and plot plans, and the records of local organizations will enable the Historical Society to serve an even broader audience interested in aspects of Greenwich history.

ruling year

1957

Executive Director

Self-reported

Ms. Debra L Mecky Ph.D.

Keywords

Self-reported

History, Cos Cob art colony, Greenwich

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EIN

06-6036049

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Historical Societies and Related Activities (A80)

History Museums (A54)

Other Art, Culture, Humanities Organizations/Services N.E.C. (A99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

The Greenwich Historical Society contributes to the cultural vitality of our community by engaging people in history. The appreciation of local history helps us understand who we are as individuals and as a community by looking at where we have been and what we have done. This understanding, in turn, helps us make connections to the history of America and our role in the world.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Bush-Holley House

Bush-Holley House is the centerpiece of Bush-Holley Historic Site on Cos Cob Harbor in Greenwich, Connecticut. A unique presentation provides visitors with two distinct time periods: the New Nation (1790-1825) and the Cos Cob Art Colony (1890-1920). Eight evocative, well-documented rooms tell a story of change over time, while the historic buildings, landscape and gardens evoke the turn of the twentieth century when Cos Cob became the first art colony in Connnecticut, a cradle of American Impressionism.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

None

Budget

Program 2

Library & Archives

The William E. Finch Jr. Library & Archives is exceptional in its wealth of historical information. Open to the public, researchers and visiting scholars, these archives put an impressive range of data at your fingertips. The collection encompasses historical records, ephemera, maps, deeds, photographs, manuscripts, personal papers from prominent citizens and reference works relating to art, local and regional history and genealogy. The archives also serve as a principal repository for materials relating to the Cos Cob art colony. If there’s anything you want to find out about the town’s history – from the political leanings of citizens during the Civil War to the United Nations’ bid to build in Greenwich – you’ll likely find it here.

Category

History & Historical Programs

Population(s) Served

Adults

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens

Budget

Program 3

Storehouse Gallery

Each visit begins with a stop at the Storehouse Gallery. Since 1805 this historic structure has served as a warehouse, shop and village post office. Today it’s home to the Historical Society’s visitor center and features rotating exhibitions on art and history related to Greenwich and beyond. Upcoming exhibitions include Enjoying the Country Life: Greenwich’s Great Estates and Greenwich Faces the Great War.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Adults

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

Program 4

School Programs

Each year the Greenwich Historical Society hosts thousands of students and teachers at Bush-Holley House, the centerpiece of the beautiful historic site on Cos Cob Harbor. Interactive, inquiry-based programs give students the opportunity to creatively explore topics and sharpen critical thinking skills. Programs cover topics such as colonial American history, the American Revolution, slavery in the North, and the development of American Impressionism. Also offered are art history and art appreciation programs. Each experience is designed to complement classroom teaching while providing students and teachers with a memorable day of fun and discovery. All programs are designed to meet curriculum standards for both Connecticut and New York.

Since 2009 the Historical Society has nurtured a close partnership with Hamilton Avenue School, a Title One magnet school in Chickahominy where more than half the students are eligible for free or reduced-cost lunches. The program, for the first – fifth grades, gives students to visit the Bush-Holley Historic Site each year to learn about local history, develop an appreciation for art and build a foundation for lifelong learning.

Category

History & Historical Programs

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

None

None

Budget

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    The Greenwich Historical Society’s current strategic plan outlines three priorities to increase the impact of our mission: Connect the Site and the Collections to People of All Ages; Connect the Historical Society to the Community; and Strengthen Organizational Capacity.

    Our immediate goals are to offer unique programs and services that respond to audience interests and provide opportunities for life-long learning; expand community awareness through strategic communications and partnerships; leverage the Bush-Holley Historic Site and collections; and improve mission sustainability.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Historic Preservation is essential to engaging people in history. We preserve objects, documents, art and buildings that tell the story of Greenwich and then we interpret and share them with adults, children and families through visits to the Bush-Holley House, exhibitions, education programs, access to the library and archives and publications.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    The Greenwich Historical Society is a professionally run, accredited institution with an active board and volunteers who help develop and execute programs for a robust audience. The Historical Society is home to the Bush-Holley Historic Site, which includes a National Historic Landmark building with an acclaimed dual interpretation of the New Nation era (1790-1825) and the Cos Cob art colony (1890-1920). The Historical Society’s collections, acquired since 1931, including over 40,000 photographs, Civil War diaries, Connecticut furnishings, textiles and artwork relating to the Cos Cob art colony.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    The Greenwich Historical Society uses its written strategic plan to set annual objectives with quantifiable goals and timelines. Success is measured annually and results are used to inform each year’s planning process. External feedback is collected from program participants through online surveys and focus groups, and we conduct formal evaluations of our programs as time and money allow.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    The Greenwich Historical Society is a highly regarded local institution that served 11,000 people in 2013. Our current goals include:

    • Digitization of the collection to more easily share what we have with a wider audience; and
    • Further development of Bush-Holley Historic Site to expand parking, incorporate our latest acquisition of the historic building known as Toby’s Tavern, and improve the accessibility and storage capacity of the library and archives.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Connecticut

The Greenwich Historical Society primarily serves a local audience through the library and archives, rotating exhibitions and education programs. However it also serves visitors to Bush-Holley House from around the world and supports research requests by phone and online. Current efforts to digitize the Greenwich Historical Society's vast collections of personal papers, genealogical material, photographs, maps and plot plans, and the records of local organizations will enable the Historical Society to serve an even broader audience interested in aspects of Greenwich history.

Social Media

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

GREENWICH HISTORICAL SOCIETY INC
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Greenwich Historical Society Inc

Leadership

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  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Members
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Executive Director

Ms. Debra L Mecky Ph.D.

BIO

As the chief executive officer of the Greenwich Historical Society, Debra Mecky has led the professional growth of the organization overseeing the acclaimed dual interpretation of Bush-Holley House, the accreditation of the Greenwich Historical Society by the American Alliance of Museums, capital projects to expand and improve the Bush-Holley Historic site, and the development of a professional staff. Prior to joining the Historical Society, Debra was executive director for The Historical Society of Rockland County (NY). Debra has a B.A. in History, summa cum laude, from Nyack College; a M.A. in English Literature from Drew University; and a Ph.D. in Nineteenth Century Studies from Drew University.

Governance

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?