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El Paso Museum of History Foundation

April 15, 2011

Since the El Paso Museum of History opened its doors on June 16, 2007, nearly four years ago, we have repeatedly reached out to our members and business associates for support. If it isnít one thing, itís another: Las Villitas, Immigrant Women of El Paso, El Paso Rock & Roll, Boots & Heels, Don Haskins and the Team From Glory Road, the Da Vinci Experience, Farah Manufacturing, El Hilo de la Memoria, various lectures and receptions, restoration projects and technology upgrades; the list goes on and on. Recently, the museum has been gearing up for the El Paso Mayorís Exhibit, Polo Real, a member luncheon, continued museum upgrades and Boots & Heels II scheduled for September 10, 2011. From the beginning you have been there for us. We will probably never be able to fully express our appreciation for all that you have done. What we can hope for is that you see positive change in the exhibits, events, and in everything we present. We could not continue to take such grand steps without you. Thank you.

In other news, the museum is waiting to hear from the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS) regarding a new grant request supporting the fabrication and installation of Las Villitas: Neighborhoods & Shared Memories and continued funding for a project manager. This takes us into the second phase of Las Villitas. If you recall, the museum and the museumís foundation have raised more than $500,000 in support of Las Villitas. This original funding; $150,000 from IMLS, a match from the City of El Paso of $176,764 (paying for museum staff salaries dedicated to the project), and additional funding from various local donors has essentially paid for the design of Las Villitas and the project managerís wages which were not funded by the City match. Not all of the dedicated funds have been spent at this time. The City of El Paso offered the museum a challenge grant valued at $100,000 back in 2008. If we raised an additional $100,000, they would match it. We have done that. So for right now we believe we have enough for fabrication and installation. This will go out to bid soon.

The museum should have completed upgrading the AV installation in the Seminar Room by the time you read this. We have installed a new movie screen, speakers in the ceiling, a ceiling-hung projector and all else. The Seminar Room is a beautiful sounding room but we have always had to drag in our cumbersome public address system for the lecturers to use and the projector and laptop were on a stand in the middle of the isle. This will no longer be the case. We have also purchased a new podium with a built-in sound system manageable for up to 2,000 people.

A number of grants have been written requesting funding for student bussing. I am confident this program will be supported. Bringing students to the museum is on the top of our list. Each bus is only $89. If education is something you feel strongly about, I encourage you to support this endeavor. History is such an important part of everyoneís life. Students learn about El Paso and its people when they visit the museum. We have several well-trained docents who really get the message across to our young learners.

All-in-all, as I mentioned in the beginning of this article, we are aggressively moving forward; setting our sights high and believing we can achieve what it is we aim for. Thank you all for your continued support.

Most sincerely,

Christian Perez Giese
Christian Perez Giese, Chairman
Michael Bernstein, Treasurer
Board Members: Adair Margo, Gaspar Enriquez, Jay Kleberg, Sam Moore Jr. Ex-officio Member, Florence Schwein Ex-officio Member

A word from our director, Julia BussingerÖ

I would like to sincerely thank the El Paso Museum of Historyís former Advisory Board members for their time, hard work, passion and dedication. My deep appreciation goes to Judge William Moody, Dr. Mark Cioc-Ortega, David Saucedo II, Dr. Ann Gabbert, Morris Brown, David Berchelmann III, Vicki Walker, and Gary Williams. Thank you for your service to the community!


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