2013 Nov Director`s Report

Director’s Report
Date: November 11, 2013
 Attended Jerry Brauer’s presentation of “The Barbed Wire Story” at Ellwood House in
conjunction with the library’s Big Read. Great presentation reinforced a lot of
information in our exhibit panels. Jerry also gave interesting details about his research
20 years ago when developing their Barbed Wire Gallery, i.e. he never found evidence
or newspaper articles confirming the town square barbed wire corral sales promotion of
John Bet-a-Million Gates.
 Total visitors: 81
 3 Sundays, 51; 4 Tuesdays, 5; 1 tour group of 25 (Stickney Park District)
 84% first-time visitors; 8% members; 3% not FTV or members
Blacksmith Shop
 Chris Hubbard donated $75 worth of coal.
 Jim’s attorney-brother is working on a Hold Harmless agreement.
 Purchased archival file folders and hanging folders for abstract collection with antique
dealers assn. grant money.
 Morningstar Media will film Lucio in the Blacksmith Shop on 11/11 to be included in CVB
promotional video.
 Met with Oscar at Glidden Florist re Chamber After Hours event 11/14. Chamber is
promoting us as partners; both locations will be open for refreshments and socializing.
 Wrote to Dick Wittenberg, the Netherlands author who attended the bus tour, asking
for a short article for the newsletter re his research and visit to DeKalb.
 Wrote follow-up letters to 28 Oak Crest event attendees who we had addresses for
(members, lapsed members, nonmembers); included brochure and reply envelope.
Response so far resulted in 2 membership renewals, 1 lapsed membership renewal, 2
small donations.
Fund Raising/Finance
 Newspaper promotion and e-blast was done re Market Day pie sale.
 A membership mailing is in the works.
Gift Shop
 One order shipped to a student working on a report.
 No word yet on the Mary E. Stevens Concert and Lecture fund application.
 No word yet on the Roberts Family Foundation grant application.
 Total members: 180; 3 new, 1 lapsed, 4 renewal
 Programs resulted in: Bus Tours--1 new member; Oak Crest--1 new member, 2
renewals, 2 donations
 Big Read Blacksmithing for Kids: As was presented orally at the last board meeting, this
Oct. 13 event drew 12 visitors, a smaller audience than expected.
 The second Big Read program on Oct. 27 on blacksmithing, targeted toward adults, was
attended by 10 visitors. A light attendance had been anticipated because of Sycamore’s
Pumpkin Fest.
 The 2 Barbed Wire Sites bus tours on Patent Day (Nov. 3) were attended by 26 guests,
as compared to 46 last year and 38 the previous year, both years with waiting lists but
not this year. Steve Bigolin did an excellent job, as usual, but details about itinerary
were late in coming (7 days before tours). Attendance was 42% members, 58%
nonmembers. A Chronicle reporter published a nice follow-up article on Monday. Barry
Schrader videotaped the tour (we have not received copy yet). Profit was $133.
 Open Barn on Patent Day for general visitors only drew 2 additional people besides
those on the bus tours. Bus Tour publicity may have overshadowed the open barn.
Roger Keys gave a very informative barn tour.
 Sycamore High School Madrigals will entertain at our Holiday Event on Nov. 17, 1:00
p.m. We will pay them $100 from the Mary E. Stevens grant.
 The newly formed Program Committee of Jan Devore, Sarah DeMink, Chris Thompson,
met to discuss 2014 The Year of the Barn ideas.
 Stats Oct. 11-Nov. 7: 470 visitors; 396 unique visitors; 81.5% new visitors;
18.5% returning visitors; 601 pageviews; 1.28 pgs/visit; 1.6 average visit /min.
 Demographic of website viewers: 24.5% DeKalb; 11% Chicago; 4.5% Sycamore; Less than
3%: Naperville, Oswego, out of state: