Old Sturbridge Village (OSV) in Sturbridge, M.A., and the Coggeshall Farm Museum in Bristol, R.I. announced today the launch of a transformational partnership intended to sustain and expand living history in the New England area.
Under the agreement, Old Sturbridge Village will manage the Coggeshall Farm Museum, handling all back-office functions, supporting day-to-day activities, bringing new programming to the Farm and positioning OSV President and CEO Jim Donahue as Executive Director at the R.I.- based museum.
The agreement begins today, January 1st, 2020.
The Coggeshall Farm Museum sees about 10,000 visitors annually, while Old Sturbridge Village brings in over 260,000 in an average year. Through this partnership, Coggeshall Farm Museum will benefit from the proven success and knowledgeable staff at Old Sturbridge Village – expanding opportunities for reach and visitation, according to a press release.
The two entities will work collaboratively to rebuild the successful agricultural and horticultural programs that the Farm is known for, while introducing new programs and experiences that have seen past success at OSV.
Two full-time employees from the Village will be stationed at the Farm year-round to oversee new and existing operations, supervised and supported by the team at Old Sturbridge Village. This partnership provides a mutual benefit to the two museums, which are synergistic in both mission and organizational structure.
Old Sturbridge Village interprets life in an early 19th-century rural New England village, while Coggeshall Farm Museum interprets life on a marsh farm in the 1790s. In this partnership, Old Sturbridge Village will bring greater sustainability to Coggeshall Farm Museum and help better utilize financial resources. A small management fee, paid to OSV by the Farm, will be invested back into the larger initiative of supporting living history as a critical piece of the New England experience.
“When visitors come to Coggeshall Farm Museum and Old Sturbridge Village, we want them to find meaning and relevance in the stories of the lives of New Englanders who came before us,” says Jim Donahue, President and CEO at Old Sturbridge Village in the press release. “We want them to be inspired to learn a craft, to raise a garden, to farm and to find out more about the people who lived in our community two centuries ago. We hope that our visitors become members – and that our members find their inner historians, curators, farmers and crafters through experiences at both of our museums.” Donahue also gave credit to the boards of both museums for having a bold vision for sustaining living history in the region through this partnership.
More information on this partnership can be found at: osv.org/coggeshall