Another season has quickly come and gone for us at Living History Farms!
There were many important achievements during 2018. First and foremost, we could not have done this without the generosity of our community providing support through their talents, time, and treasures.
Our season theme this year focused on simple pleasures and historic skills. Since this was an election year, we also hosted a wonderful traveling exhibit entitled Sign of the Times: The Great American Political Poster (1844-2012). We also featured a new World War I day camp program in collaboration with the Iowa Gold Star Museum and the State Historical Society of Iowa to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the “war to end all wars.”
This year, we received guests from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and guests representing 17 other countries. We have also seen more than 33% growth in our member-households since 2016.
We held a host of new events this year including: History Happy Hour, Living History Farms Kids Trail Run, Heritage Skills Expo, and History Through the Lens. We also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Living History Farms cross country race.
In addition, our endowment continues to grow with donations from more than a hundred donors and asset growth of more than 15% since 2016.
The economic impact of Living History Farms continues to grow as well. Did you know that Living History Farms has an economic impact of $5.7 million dollars to our community? This includes 178 FTE jobs in the community, local government revenue of more than $262,000, and state government revenue of more than $338,000.
As we look ahead to 2019, we have two major projects planned that we have spent this year actively fundraising for: A feasibility study for a potential capital campaign and the renovation of the red barn for collections storage and public exhibit space. We are very excited to begin our conversation with the community about how we can provide even more opportunities to learn about history and rural life.
We look forward to next season, which is just around the corner, in which we will focus on the interpretive theme of Land Stewardship in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of Saint Pope John Paul II’s visit to Living History Farms!