Busy at the Barnum! Our Spring Update
Although the Barnum Museum looks quiet and calm from the street, unruffled as a glistening pond, there are actually a lot of human “ducks” busily paddling inside the building (and off-site too!)
Covid-related delays were conquered, and the exterior construction on the glorious historic building has begun! Scaffolding is about to go up, and the complex restoration of the decorative terra cotta friezes, dome and roof tiles, windows, stained glass, and balconies is underway. Kathy will be creating a program that showcases the fascinating details and we are very excited to keep you up-to-date on the restoration progress. In the meantime, our fabulous team of historic preservation experts are now fully immersed in work, while John and Kathy manage the mountains of building and program grants—no small feat—keeping them on track as well as seeking other funding opportunities.
Since many organizations are once again scheduling in-person programs, we’ve had a number of requests and we are happy to see “real” smiling faces again. Long-time Barnum docent Marian O’Keefe has been presenting to various seniors’ groups around the state. She consistently gets rave reviews! Peter Moran, our brilliant Digital Educator, has been developing and presenting STEAM-based programs at some of the Bridgeport schools, and he’s doing more outreach to expand our network. Kathy presented a series of programs throughout the season that addressed the historic impact and influence of P. T. Barnum on the modern world, as well as inspired students with the intricacies and innovation of the Museum’s re-envisioning. On April 20th, Adrienne will be the guest speaker for the Connecticut State Library’s Third Thursday lunchtime series, via Zoom. You can register for the program here.
In addition to these presentations, we continue at a brisk pace developing content for our YouTube channel, and our podcast series, Becoming Barnum: The Journey to Fame and Fortune (available on YouTube and most podcast platforms). Will Sarris and Rui Pinho are the hidden stars behind all these programs, responsible for the filming, editing, sound, publishing, and podcast narration. Board member Betsy Golden Kellem, and Adrienne, Kathy, and Peter are the writers and hosts of our various series. Episodes from Betsy’s Showman’s Shorts, and Adrienne’s Curious People Wanted series have been submitted to this year’s Regional Emmys competition—fingers crossed that a nomination (or two) is in the stars!
We sincerely hope you’ll take the opportunity to watch some of our video productions and listen to our podcast. There’s a new release each week. Truly there is something for everyone in all these offerings, especially with the recent addition of Peter’s youth-oriented series, Spilling the Tea with Peter, which sparkles with creativity and humor.
Lastly, thanks to funding from CT Humanities, we are adding a series of fascinating videos focused on the Museum’s “journey” to learn more about the ancient Egyptian mummy and coffin in our care. Everyone remembers our mummy, for years mistakenly thought to be a man, and now renamed “Ipy.” It is not uncommon for people to inquire about her like a beloved member of the community whom they haven’t seen for a while. (She’s doing well, thank you!) You can find these videos grouped into our Playlist titled, Discovering Ipy’s Mummy with the Barnum Museum.
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Wishing you a Happy Spring!
Barnum Museum Staff: Kathy, John, Adrienne, Peter, Jim, Margarita
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