It is always important in business to build partnerships with other businesses. This is particularly true with ones that share similar goals or products as your own such as carpenters working closely with electricians; as well as forming partnerships with dissimilar businesses as a way to expand potential customers and clientele. This is particularly true with museums. We all struggle at times to draw in an audience and are often faced with similar challenges to overcome. Recently, Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm has been working towards building partnerships with a couple different institutions.
East Stroudsburg Area School District has an amazing teacher in Mr. Bob Labar. He teaches history but works on incorporating technology into the classroom. In the spring, he reached out to Quiet Valley to see if we could build a partnership. Quiet Valley is perfectly geared for the curriculum his students study in their history classes, colonial through the mid 1800’s. Throughout the year, as they study the students are going to be relating their lessons back to Quiet Valley. Since they incorporate technology with their lessons, they are going to be talking about Quiet Valley on social media and producing little videos we hope to share with our visitors. Keep an eye out on our website and social media to see them. This is a great partnership because it introduces a new age group to Quiet Valley, helps us engage with a new promotion strategy, and even allows us to reach out to prospective volunteers. It also allows a group of students a good case study for their history lessons that allows them to connect with the past and answer that constant question of “why should we care?” (or in teenage speech “so?”). We are really looking forward to building this partnership throughout the year. We hope to be able to grow the program into a cyber-classroom and teach students on other continents about Quiet Valley.
The second partnership I want to update you on is with the National Museum of Industrial History down in Bethlehem. NMIH has a large collection of industrial machinery that were used for historic trades and crafts. As a Smithsonian associated museum, big institutions like that don’t always pay attention to-or wish to partner with- us smaller ones. For our 43rd Annual Harvest Festival our theme is “Forgotten Arts and Craft”; we reached out to NMIH to see if there is anything they wished to demonstrate. To sweeten the deal, I spoke to them about my research on iron smelting. If I did a presentation or two for them, would they be willing to do a presentation or two for us? The answer, a resounding yes. NMIH will be out demonstrating a printing press and have invited an associated flint knapping group to come out as well. This past weekend a group of us gathered at NMIH and did a smelt and produced a bloom of over 16 pounds of steel. It was the first time steel was made a Bethlehem since the furnace closed down in 1995. Pretty cool. Make sure to stop by and say “Hi” to NMIH at our Harvest Festival in October.
The Quiet Valley Blog is written by Kat Muller as she explores the farm museum throughout the year. Follow along with Kat and learn about the farm!