Museum running ‘full steam ahead’

             It’s been another incredible year! Thanks to the support of members, corporate partners, foundations and other funding institutions, the Museum is running “full steam ahead!” The newly renovated McNasby Oyster Co. building is fulfilling its promise to provide Annapolis with a state-of-the-art waterfront education facility, including an exhibition gallery and an assembly hall ideal for classes, lectures, concerts and community meetings.
            The Museum launched the new Oysters on the Half Shell exhibition, that Governor O’Malley called a “truly magnificent exhibit…not only a fantastic representation of the oyster’s history in our State, but it is also a wonderful tool in raising awareness and education among our citizens about the oyster’s importance in Maryland.” Oysters on the Half Shell just won the “Best Heritage Tourism Product” award from Four Rivers, the Heritage Area of Annapolis, London Town & South County. (See page 4). The exhibit serves as an ideal classroom for AMM’s education initiative, MUDDY FEET, which stands for “Maritime Unbounded Damp & Dirty Yucky Fun Environmental Education & Training.” Kids get dirty, have fun, learn about and appreciate the Bay. The statistics are impressive.

            Before this program, the Museum had a part-time education coordinator and no building from which to work, but still served about 350 students in three local schools. Last year, the Museum hired Charlotte Rich as the new full-time Director of Education. Charlotte provided programs to a total of 617 students from seven Annapolis schools, plus programs for 10 other schools throughout the watershed. She recruited, trained and managed 45 volunteers who donated a total of 1,431 hours of service. Best of all, students who participated in these programs had test scores that improved by an average of 41%. In 2010, Alexis McPeek joined the crew as Assistant Educator. The Museum will achieve its objective of reaching all city-based elementary and middle schools and will serve 1,700 students in 25 schools by the end of this school year, bringing them closer to this area’s maritime heritage.

           AMM opened the new exhibit, From this spot you can see 400 years of history, a series of six wayside panels mounted on the pier railing. Based on the Museum’s interpretive plan, the exhibit comprises original works of art by Phyllis Saroff, with graphic designs by John Damm, to show what the view from the docks would have looked like in 1608, 1672, 1774, 1887, 1919, and 1998. AMM partnered with NOAA and the Maryland Association of Environmental Outdoor Education (MAEOE) to become a certified “green” facility and to help area schools become certified.

            AMM completed the fourth season of public tours to the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, produced the popular “Winter Maritime Heritage Seminar Series,” and hosted the “Summertime Maritime Concert Series” enjoyed by more than 2,000 visitors. As Governor O’Malley said, “Thank you for… all the museum’s efforts to support education about our cultural and historical natural resources.” We here at the Annapolis Maritime Museum say, “Thank you for making those efforts possible through your generous support.”