Another season has quickly come and gone for us at Living History Farms! First and foremost, we could not have done this without the generosity of our community and I want to give a special “shout out” to our 2017 premier partners: Bravo Greater Des Moines, the W.T. and Edna M. Dahl Trust, and John Deere.
Our season theme this year focused on midwestern small town celebrations. We hosted a wonderful traveling exhibit on the history of the circus and featured a new World War I day camp program in collaboration with the Fort Des Moines Museum and the Iowa Gold Star Museum to commemorate the centennial anniversary. This year we received guests from 47 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and guests representing 11 other countries.
We reached a significant milestone this year by growing our endowment to $10 million; about four times our annual operating budget! This meets a significant museum industry standard designed to assure stability and the ability to serve the community with the quality programming we strive to offer for generations to come.
In addition, we have adopted a 15-year master plan that will set the stage for the next 50-year chapter of Living History Farms and help us provide programming all year long to the community!
I want to offer special thanks to all of our donors and volunteers for helping us to provide first-rate programming in 2017. We are ever grateful for the donation of your time, talents, and treasures. We look forward to the 2018 season, which is just around the corner, in which we will feature simple pleasures and traditional handcrafts we all enjoy so much!