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MARYLAND WOMENS HERITAGE CENTER AND MUSEUM INC
October 24, 2012

The MWHC makes history come alive. The way the Center does this is what makes it an extraordinary example of how it moved from an ideal to the reality it envisioned as a model, non-profit. It is a stunning place from its interactive displays to its collaborative partnerships with other non-profits and businesses.

It depicts the history of Maryland through people and events in a compelling use of the most diverse of people and artifacts, showing and involving: donors, visitors, and volunteers, businesses, the public sector, the academic world, young, old, students, professionals, rich, us-ordinary people, actors, the famous, the unsung and the deceased in what could be described as the most ecumenical and varied of programs.

As a start, just look at their Web site. Its information appeals to our curiosity and most importantly is so user-friendly. They find the most fascinating of representative history and have the best food at its events.

Finally, as an example to rival the Appalachian Trail, it researched and established a women’s heritage trail that traverses the state, rich in history and enchanting in its stories.

More feedback

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

MY ROLE:
Volunteer

MARYLAND WOMENS HERITAGE CENTER AND MUSEUM INC
September 22, 2010

The immediate role of the Center was to create a place where the information of the past 30 years of Maryland women's history could be preserved. For the past 3 decades the MD.Commission for Women and the MD. State Dept. of Education have been sending out women's history packets to every public school and library during March, Women's History Month. I was part of this effort in my local county for years. This collective information and the information about the people in the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame needed to be housed somewhere. While the MWHC met this initial purpose it is much more as an interactive place for children, academics and others. It's unique theme is the consistent way in which the diverse story of women and girls in Maryland are portrayed both from the historical past and from the present. History is living at MWMC; and it is diverse. Most of history is portrayed and written about white, adult property owners. The Center's legacy shows the richness of Maryland's citizenry in all of its diversity. No one is left out, including the vast network of unsung heroines whose activism and stories of their own show the developmental history of the state. As a model for young people, this is important, in my opinion. For instance, while the Women's History packets went to public schools and libraries, I, a Chinese-American protestant, took packets to parochial schools in my county. Not bad, when you remember that Maryland, as well as the country, was founded on religious freedoms. One of the only serious efforts to address racial relations in my county, Prince George's, was an effort in the 70's called "Building Bridges", in the wake of the county's desegregation efforts in 1972. There has been little organized, community effort before/since outside of the Black communities which has understood race relations well before its Caucasian sisters. Building Bridges had a diverse panel of presenters. It held community workshops all across this county. All of the panel's leadership are part of the MWHC's early organizational efforts and/or have been inducted into the MD. Women's Hall of Fame. The Center is a product of such visionary outreach. And its most important aspect is how young people can see women's history as a living presence to draw them into seeing themselves as players in their own sphere of influence as well. Finally, the role of business, academia and elected individuals are also participatory in the presentations and development of the Center, too. Business women are honored, their stories told. Women and girls have long had an active role in education and politics. As volunteer, they provide the mainstay for much of the Center's enthusiasm, activism, collaboration and partnership with institutions and communities in the state. Come and see.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The Center reinforces and re-inspires in me the inescapable conclusion that I, as an individual, can play (and has played) a role in the history of my state. The Center reminds me that I have an activist role to maintain; & in collaborative ways.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Move the Center to a larger building with ample, free parking and outdoor venues. Provide paid internships. The Center already plans to relocate the museum with these features in mind.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

sense of living history; presentations that show the diversity of women & girls in Maryland's history. Finally, it has a easy and informational Web site and very well written monthly, newsletter.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Diverse. Students, retirees, professionals, stay-at-home moms, young professionals, academia, business women, elected leadership and celebrities.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Relocate to a larger building by the water with easy access to public transportation; pay for parking; hire interns; fund scholarships at all levels of learning, including the grade school pipeline; fund traveling exhibits; become a household name.

Ways to make it better...

Relocate to a larger building with free parking, outdoor venues, closer to public transportation. Provide paid, internships and scholarships for all age groups and levels of learning.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Maintaining the array of activist volunteers on its Board, staff and fundraisers. We're getting older.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Thank you for providing an opportunity for us to comment. This was important; and fun.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & Reporter; Charter Appointee to local county Commission for Women & its former Chair, part of the historical growth of women's history, panel member-selection committee-MD. Women's Hall of Fame.