Monday letters: Save Glenwood Historical Society
Don’t lose history by repeating history
The former Arts Council that ran the Center for the Arts in the Hydroelectric Building lost its funding and support from the City of Glenwood. To close the Arts Center the Arts Council had to sell off all the supplies, costumes, pottery kilns and office furniture at ridiculous low prices or give the items away. These were items that the arts council raised money to procure.
The city has tried to make the Hydroelectric building an art center (buying new replacement equipment). However, most of the space in the building is dedicated to offices for parks and rec. We have lost the essence of the old art center.
The Union Pacific Railroad forced the closure of the Railroad Museum. For many years, the Union Pacific had given the museum a “sweetheart” deal on the rent. The Union Pacific informed the Railroad Museum that they needed to charge the museum a commercial rate. The city of Glenwood would not write a letter of support for reduced rent for the museum. Again, the staff at the museum had to look up the donors of all items and return them to their owners or to donate the items to other 501c3’s. That local history and tourist attraction is lost forever.
The city should not lose another cultural or historical nonprofit that contributes so much to the essence of our community. Members of the Art Council and the Railroad Museum put their hearts, time, and money into supporting these organizations, just as the Historical Society is doing now.
There is no way that the Historical Society can raise the $120,000 needed to keep the doors open next year. The museum itself needs approximately $500,000 to restore the building. Please help the Historical Society remain viable. It is time to realize how this organization contributes to our community.
If you do not help the Historical Society, we could lose another aspect of our community. What will history say about this community?
Judy O’Donnell, volunteer at Frontier Historical Museum
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