What Your Support Means to CCAHA in a Year Like No Other
As Board Chair of the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts, I’m asking for your support under circumstances that, frankly, I never anticipated or imagined.
When the pandemic lockdown took effect back in March, our laboratory was among the many business facilities closed by order of the City and State—something that had never happened before. I was amazed at how swiftly and creatively the Conservation Center responded with the development of new educational programming, all offered free to museums, libraries, and archives. (You should check out our YouTube channel to see how our staff was able to keep busy and contribute to the collections community while working from home.) But conservation treatment takes place in a laboratory. Ultimately there was no getting around the fact that our primary work could not be conducted while on lockdown. As with businesses and nonprofits large and small across this country, the Conservation Center endured a considerable shock to its operating revenue this year.
Looking back to the days before I joined the Center’s Board, then totally unaware of the Center’s existence, I’m sure I still must have seen its work many times. Conservation is expertly and beautifully discreet! When done right, you aren’t supposed to notice the hours – sometimes days – that a conservator invests in a treatment, repairing damage to a fragile book, document, or work of art and stabilizing its condition for the appreciation of future generations. This was all behind-the-curtain to me.
Then one day a colleague invited me to attend an Open House at the Conservation Center, an annual pull-back-the-curtain event. I was enthralled, even enchanted. Precious objects normally in storage or behind glass in archives and museums were sitting out on laboratory tables, and conservators were explaining to attendees like me the unique challenges each item posed. Their skill and expertise were impressive, spanning art and history and chemistry, not to mention considerable patience and manual dexterity. Years later, the Center still feels like a magical place to me whenever I visit.
I know that you must feel the same. We are so fortunate to have a small but dedicated community of people who understand and value the amazing work of the Center’s staff. Speaking on behalf of the Center’s Board of Directors, we are so very appreciative of your interest and support.
At this critical time I am asking you to generously support the Conservation Center with a tax-deductible end-of-year financial contribution. Balancing mission and safety continues to be a challenge, with the Center currently only able to operate on a partial work schedule to ensure staff safety. Your support will be a lifeline more than ever.
With my warmest regards for the coming holiday season,
Board Chair, Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts