Arts, Culture, and Humanities

San Diego History Center

  • San Diego, CA
  • www.sandiegohistory.org

Mission Statement

The San Diego History Center tells the diverse story of our region - past, present, and future - educating and enriching our community, preserving our history and fostering civic pride. We serve the entire region of San Diego County.

Main Programs

  1. Collections and Research Library
  2. History Museum Exhibits
  3. Education Programs K-12
  4. Adult Education Programs
  5. Special Events
  6. Publications
  7. Website
Service Areas

Self-reported

California

San Diego History Center serves all of San Diego County Region and it's general demographic with our new Admissions Policy "Give Forward" which provides access to our two museum sites, and our research archives.

Our core audiences are:

*The entire San Diego community as well as visitors to our region served by dynamic exhibitions engaging programs and services;
*Schoolchildren and Teachers served through expanding school programs;
*The general public through engaging, educational exhibitions about San Diego history that connect the past with the present;
*Adults through public programs, lectures, and Speakers Bureau.

ruling year

1952

Principal Officer since 2016

Self-reported

Bill Lawrence

Keywords

Self-reported

San Diego History Center, San Diego Historical Society, Junipero Serra Museum,SDHC,San Diego History Center Research Library

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Also Known As

San Diego History Center

EIN

95-1728991

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

History Museums (A54)

Historical Societies and Related Activities (A80)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

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

In October of 2016, the San Diego History Center instituted "Give Forward" Admissions policy which invites the public of all ages to come into our museums without paying a traditional admission price. Attendees are asked to determine the value of their visit and demonstrate that with a voluntary tax-deductible donation. Our region's history is shared by all, and moving to an admissions model based on generosity offers opportunities to engage our visitors, members, and donors in new and exciting ways. This new policy will help increase our engagement with the community and in turn provide additional support that will allow the History Center to greater fulfill our mission of preserving and promoting our region's history.

In 2015-16, San Diego History Center (SDHC) presented the following popular exhibitions at our museum, boosting attendance and celebrating the 2015 centennial of the 1915 Exposition in Balboa Park , including:
* Ingenious! The World of Dr. Seuss (Nov. 22, 2014-Dec. 31, 2015);

* Presidio to Pacific Powerhouse: How the Military Shaped San Diego (Jan. 2015- Dec. 2015);

* San Diego Invites the World: The 1915 Expo (Jan 31, 2015 - Mar 31, 2016);

* Masterworks of the Exposition Era (Jan. 15, 2015 - Jan. 3, 2016);

* Place of Promise (Oct. 31, 2014 - Dec. 31, 2017);

* Balboa Park: The Jewel of San Diego (daily screenings of this Emmy award winning film);

* Lore Behind the Roar: 100 years of the San Diego Zoo;

* A Borderline that Divides;

* Irving J. Gill; New Architecture for a Great Country (Sep.2016 - Mar. 2017)

In 2016, SDHC installed "Inside-Out," our newest permanent exhibition located in the central atrium of the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park which brings objects, photographs, and documents from the archives to the exhibition floor. Inside|OUT is a large lighted display unit with 16 cases of different sizes featuring a rotating inventory of items that are rarely displayed in the museum, and curated by our museum staff.

Our Oral History program continues to expand, implementing projects with students from Title 1 schools in economically disadvantaged communities, as well as from local area high schools. We also expanded access to our Research Library and Archives by uploading more photos to our online Collections Catalog and website store.

Expanding access and visibility of the Junipero Serra Museum also continues to be a priority. We are increasing education opportunities at the site including hosting a well-attended 2016 lecture series "San Diego in Serra's Time," and initiating a new "Discovery Backpacks" program which will provide hands-on, grade-appropriate activities to help children learn about local history. We are developing the historic site to develop an interpretive plan for new exhibitions and programs at the Junípero Serra Museum in Presidio Park, allowing visitors to better appreciate the historic site.



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

Collections and Research Library

Since 1929 the San Diego History Center has been serving as the main repository for our region’s history by collecting and preserving artifacts, documents, and photographs. Since its founding as the San Diego Historical Society, the History Center has amassed one of the largest collections dealing with a specific region in the country featuring: 45 million documents; 2.5 million historic photographs; 15,000 objects; 7,000 items of historic clothing; and 1,700 pieces of regional fine art. Numerous exhibitions with a diverse range of subjects have brought these items into public view. Our organization priority continues to be to preserve the history of our region and add to that history through the acquisition of new items, improve accessibility for the public, and provide suitable long-term archival storage for existing collection items.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Adults

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

400,000

Program 2

History Museum Exhibits

The San Diego History Center tells the diverse stories of our community and builds understanding and connectivity to how the past influences the present as well as shapes the future. Many of these stories are told through exhibitions that focus on the unique aspects of our region. Exhibitions are geared to both residents of the region as well as visitors from around the world. Exhibitions, depending on the subject matter covered, are designed to be entertaining, educational, family friendly and in some cases where appropriate are thought provoking and even provocative. In addition to rotating exhibitions the History Center features two permanent exhibits at its Balboa Park facility: San Diego: Place of Promise and Inside|OUT which features a permanent rotating exhibition of the unique, rare and even everyday items that make up the San Diego History Center’s collections.

Current Exhibitions Include:
* The Lore Behind the Roar! 100 years of the San Diego Zoo
* Irving J. Gill: New Architecture for a Great Country
* Documentary Film: Balboa Park, The Jewel of San Diego
*Animal Aesthetics: Decades of Design at the San Diego Zoo
* The Border: A Line That Divides

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

580,000

Program 3

Education Programs K-12

San Diego History Center's Education programs annually serve over 20,000 K-12 students, many from Title 1 schools All K-12 programs are designed as an extension of classroom learning, and are aligned with California State Standards and the Common Core. Programs include interactive learning at SDHC- structured classes, guided & self-guided school tours,and outreach programs:
* Hands-on San Diego and California history school programs including School in the Park.
* S.D. Voices: Oral History partnership with schools/non-profits in Barrio Logan, City Heights and
Linda Vista neighborhoods that empowers youth to capture the untold stories of their communities.
* Field Trips: Facilitated field trips for students at both our museums.
* Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts: Programming aligned to badge learning objectives.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

220,000

Program 4

Adult Education Programs

*Speakers Bureau: 45 San Diego history topics for civic and community groups.
*Adult Group & Walking Tours: The History Center, Balboa Park & the Serra Museum/Presidio.
*Lectures featuring local experts centered on our exhibits and other historical topics of interest. In 2016, SDHC is featuring a Serra Lecture Series highlighting the history of the Royal Presidio and San Diego's first mission and inhabitants.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

80,000

Program 5

Special Events

Ongoing events and special programs highlighting unique aspects of San Diego history including:
* Annual Makers of San Diego History Gala honoring those who have "Made History in their own Time";
*Fashion Redux, (using an article of historic clothing as an inspiration for contemporary design) in
partnership with Mesa College;
*History Center Holidays, in partnership with the SD Floral Association and coordinated with
December Nights in Balboa Park;
*Genealogy Day, in partnership with the San Diego Genealogy Society.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Adults

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

130,000

Program 6

Publications

San Diego History Center publishes the following on a regular basis,
*The Journal of San Diego History, archived digitally on the SDHC website, printed and published three times/year;
*The TIMES, quarterly members' newsletter;
*History NOW, monthly e-newsletter;
*Exhibition catalogs: for major exhibits archived digitally and for sale in museum store.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

75,000

Program 7

Website

San Diego History Center's website links 1.5 million visitors annually to the region's largest historical on-line,
searchable archives.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

5,000

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?
    By providing opportunities for people to connect and gain a better understanding of the diverse cultures that comprise our bi-national region, San Diego History Center will engender pride of place and raise community consciousness for the benefit of future generations.

    Our dynamic exhibitions and updated facilities at both the San Diego History Center and the Serra Museum will become must-see visitor destinations.

    We will use state-of-the-art technology to ensure that our greatly expanded collections are widely accessible.

    We will have an ample operating budget and a substantial endowment, enabling the History Center to be fully sustainable.

    We will continue to be the primary resource for San Diego history, a vibrant hub of community activity and an essential educational center for lifetime learning for all ages and all members of the community.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    San Diego History Center aims to preserve our past and secure our future by:

    * Perpetuating the stewardship of our community heritage through preserving and making publicly accessible our unparalleled collections of regional history.
    * Serving as the vital community resource for San Diego history through our Education Programs, serving as lifelong learning center for all ages and members of the San Diego region.
    * Celebrate our civic treasure, With a legacy of 88 years of public service and over 47 million items in our collections, we are the principal institution reflecting our community identity. Our museum was at the heart of the Balboa Park's 2015 Centennial Celebration, and in 2019, our Serra Museum in Presidio Park will be the focal point for the City of San Diego's 250th birthday.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Not available.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Not available.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Not available.
Service Areas

Self-reported

California

San Diego History Center serves all of San Diego County Region and it's general demographic with our new Admissions Policy "Give Forward" which provides access to our two museum sites, and our research archives.

Our core audiences are:

*The entire San Diego community as well as visitors to our region served by dynamic exhibitions engaging programs and services;
*Schoolchildren and Teachers served through expanding school programs;
*The general public through engaging, educational exhibitions about San Diego history that connect the past with the present;
*Adults through public programs, lectures, and Speakers Bureau.

Funding Needs

1) Give Forward Admissions: $175,000 Visitors to the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park and its museum in Presidio Park will no longer have to pay a set admission fee as of October 12, 2016. Instead, they will be asked to set their own price of admission. Our region's history is shared by all, and moving to an admissions model based on generosity offers opportunities to engage our visitors, members, and donors in new and exciting ways. This new policy will help increase our engagement with the community and in turn provide additional support that will allow the History Center to greater fulfill our mission of preserving and promoting our region's history. 2) Education funding for K-12 programs offered annually to 20,000 San Diego county students: $300,000. The History Center's school programs are widely recognized, and our education staff is first-rate. Our education department is our largest and requires the most operational funding. With additional support, we can expand our high-quality education programming to our region's school children as well as offer expanded teacher training and online programs. 3) Endowment funds to help shape our future and strengthen our organization across all program areas: $20,0000. Building our endowment is essential to our long-term financial health and sustainability. Programs for which we're seeking endowment funds include: * Oral History - Our unique collection of over 1,500 oral histories need to be preserved digitally and made more accessible to the public both onsite and online. * The Journal of San Diego History - Published continuously since 1955, the Journal is one of only a handful of publications dedicated to the history of a major American city. * Historic Photographic Collection - Consisting of 2.5 million historic images, including the entire collection of the San Diego Union-Tribune prior to the 1980s, the collection is widely used and serves ad the centerpiece of History Center exhibitions and publications. * “Art for the Next Century" Initiative - New in 2016, the arts initiative placing priority on acquiring new works to continue to build our premier art collection and preserving our existing collection at the highest standards for future generations. As part of its mission as a collecting institution, the San Diego History Center maintains more than 1,700 pieces in its Fine Arts Collection, making it the largest and most representative collection of San Diego historical art in the region. Funding will support a permanent curator, building the collection, preserving and conserving works; and continuous display in a dedicated art gallery. * The Serra Museum - An iconic regional landmark whose architecture is widely heralded, the Serra Museum will be the focal point of the celebration of the City of San Diego's 250th birthday.

Accreditations

Affiliations + Memberships

Smithsonian Museum - Affiliate

External Reviews

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Financials

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

SAN DIEGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY
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.

San Diego History Center

Leadership

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  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
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Principal Officer

Bill Lawrence

BIO

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WILLIAM (BILL) LAWRENCE was appointed Executive Director in January 2016 by the Board of Trustees after joining San Diego History Center(SDHC) in July 2015 as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining SDHC, Bill's career spanned three decades in local broadcasting and included a variety of increasing responsibilities; from award winning writer, Producer of Special Projects to technology and personnel management. During this period Bill supervised day-to-day operations of a staff of more than 20 and an operational budget of $2.5 million and an annual corporate capital budget of $3 million. He also assisted with long range strategic planning to enhance revenue. He is passionate about San Diego history and is the publisher, researcher and writer of BorregoModern.com, a website devoted to the preservation and appreciation of the mid-century modern architecture of Borrego Springs, San Diego County's desert resort

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"The San Diego History Center:
* Is the one organization in San Diego whose mission is to tell the story of the region and its diverse communities past, present, and future.
* Brings the city's and region's past to life for our citizens and our visitors, underscoring what makes San Diego unique from other communities
* Fosters appreciation for how San Diego has been shaped by decisions made in the past, and how today's decisions will shape the future.
* Helps promote cultural understanding by highlighting the contributions that diverse communities have made, and are making, to our collective growth and success.
* Has for generations been the community's trusted repository for treasured photographs, documents, and other important physical evidence of our collective past.
* Is a major research center: the "go to" place for information about San Diego.
* Helps children learn about their neighborhoods, the larger community, and people from diverse backgrounds through education programming that engages and entertains.
* Strengthens all San Diegans' civic engagement by encouraging them to take pride in the community's heritage and accomplishments.
* Guarantees that San Diego's history will be preserved in perpetuity.
* Confirms San Diego's stature as one of the great cities in the world, that has created, and nurtured, a distinct institution dedicated to preserving and celebrating it's history.
"

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Thompson Fetter

T. Fetter and Co., Inc

Term: Dec 2011 - Dec 2017

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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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?