In the world of historic and cultural venues, change is inevitable--physical changes to resources, changes in financial operations, and changes in leadership and staff are not unexpected occurrences. Such change has recently come to a long-time Salem venue, Willamette Heritage Center. Our guest today, James Phelps is the interim executive director there, and he shared with us a fresh perspective on helping historical/cultural venues weather transitions such as these.
Transitional administration fills a unique role. Boards of directors often opt to hire an outside consultant whose "new eyes" can evaluate the organization and suggest areas of improvement and potential growth. In the case of large changes or a series of changes, the consultant can assess and evaluate the best ways to move forward. They can put into place practices for the organization to continue in the future. In this case, his role is to identify how to go forward for this organization, refine their continuation plan, define the job description for a new executive director, and help with recruitment.
One such cooperative effort is the annual Heritage Invitational Exhibit currently running through April 21 (photo, right). This exhibit, with artifacts from 13 different organizations, focuses on stories of migration, immigrations and journeys of our very diverse ancestors into the Valley.
Another annual event, the Sheep to Shawl Show (photo, right), highlights the textile industries that grew our local communities. Typically held in late spring, this year's event will be May 12th.