No such thing as time off at Wright Museum in off-season

One of the myths about seasonal museums is that staff at seasonally open museums “go away” to warmer climates in the “off-season.”

“‘Closed to the public’ does not mean ‘closed for business,” laughed Mike Culver, executive director at Wright Museum in Wolfeboro. “The off-season is probably our busiest time of year.

As one example, Culver cited November in which staff not only prepare for the museum’s annual Veteran’s Day Ceremony but for its role as host of Wolfeboro Festival of Trees.

Held on the weekends of December 7, 8 and 14, 15 and Wednesday, December 11 with a preview gala on Thursday, December 5, Wolfeboro Festival of Trees benefits area charities each year.

“It’s important for Wright to be involved in the community,” added Culver, who said the museum has hosted the event for years.

At The Wright, staff also begin to plan for subsequent exhibit seasons, sometimes as far as three years in advance.

“Our gallery space demands that we consider the experience we want for our visitors,and that takes planning as well as sourcing funds to bring in outside exhibits,” he said.

In 2019, Wright Museum featured “Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and WWII,” created by the Smithsonian Institution.

“This was the first time we had the opportunity to show an exhibit from the Smithsonian, and that took years worth of planning with aggressive fundraising,” explained Culver. “Plans for that exhibit and others generally take up the lion’s share of our work in the winter and early spring.”

In addition to future exhibits, Wright Museum Curator Justin Gamache said staff also plan programs, conduct artifact research, fund-raise, over-see school tours and schedule the seasonal calendar.

“This is actually our ‘busy’ season,” he laughed. “Luckily, we all love what we do.”

Without community and volunteer support, however, Culver said such plans would be “fruitless.”

“We are very, very grateful for the community support we receive,” he said. “As we enter the holiday season, all of us at Wright Museum are so thankful we can continue to be involved in the everyday lives of people throughout region and, in some cases, across the nation.”

The region’s leading resource for educators and learners of all ages on World War II, Wright Museum features more than 14,000 items in its collection that are representative of both the home front and battle field.

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