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TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Our Mission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Our Vision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Our Values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Theme 1: Engage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Theme 2: Preserve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Theme 3: Convene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Theme 4: Sustain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Toward a more vibrant future 3

EXECUTIVE TEAM President & CEO Jamie O. Bosket

VP for Advancement Bob Halbruner VP for Collections Adam E. Scher

VP for Exhibitions & Publications Andrew H. Talkov

VP for Marketing & Communications Tracy Schneider

VP for Guest Engagement Michael B. Plumb

Sr. VP for Operations & Finance Richard S. V. Heiman


Vice Chair Charles L. Cabell Honorary Vice Chairs H. Furlong Baldwin Harry F. Byrd III Nancy H. Gottwald Conrad M. Hall Brenton S. Halsey Anne R. Worrell

Board of Trustees Victor K. Branch Austin Brockenbrough III Jeannette R. Cadwallender Herbert A. Claiborne III Richard Cullen William H. Fralin, Jr. George C. Freeman III Susan S. Goode Russell B. Harper Landon Hilliard Gen. John P. Jumper Linwood Allen Lacy, Jr.

Hon. Elizabeth A. McClanahan G. Gilmer Minor III Kevin B. Osborne Pamela Kiecker Royall Thomas G. Slater, Jr. Robert Clarkson Sledd Gerald F. Smith Thomas G. Snead, Jr. Robert Dorsey Taylor Allison P. Weinstein J. Harvie Wilkinson III William C. Wooldridge

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture is owned and operated by the Virginia Historical Society — a private, non-profit organization established in 1831. The historical society is the oldest cultural organization in Virginia, and one of the oldest and most distinguished history organizations in the nation. For use in its state history museum and its renowned research library, the historical society cares for a collection of nearly nine million items representing the ever-evolving story of Virginia.


INTRODUCTION For nearly two centuries the Virginia Historical Society, the oldest cultural organization in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of the most respected history organizations in the nation, has worked diligently to preserve and share the remarkable story of Virginia. We have accomplished much, but our work is far from complete. Time has changed our community and our commonwealth, and so we must also adapt and evolve. We are ready to do more and be more for the people of Virginia and beyond —  to engage new audiences in new ways; to reach across the entire commonwealth; to grow and care for our collection; and to improve our financial sustainability. Taking guidance from our members, community, staff, and trustees, we have formed a thoughtful plan, which you will find detailed in the pages that follow. Building on our past successes, this ambitious plan charts an exciting new path toward a more vibrant future for this exceptionally worthy organization. I hope you will join us! Sincerely,

Jamie O. Bosket President & CEO





Connecting people to America’s past through the unparalleled story of Virginia. By collecting, preserving, and interpreting the Commonwealth’s history, we link past with present and inspire future generations.

We aspire to represent all Virginians as we meaningfully share the ever-evolving story of Virginia with a broader audience.


We are dedicated to preserving the past, as we believe knowledge and appreciation of history matters.

We are trusted stewards, committed to telling an accurate and inclusive story of Virginia.

We work passionately and with integrity to best represent ourselves, our colleagues, our institutions, and our critical mission.

We are service oriented, and we are welcoming and respectful to all.

We operate as one team; we are clear about our goals, transparent, and collaborate for success.

We are purposeful; we are innovative and entrepreneurial in the advancement of our mission.

We embrace partnership, and we are a strong and active contributor to our community and commonwealth.






We will attract a larger and more diverse audience. We will rank among the seminal Virginia museum experiences; be an essential resource for scholarship and learning; and be a source of local and Virginia pride. GOAL A We will improve our museum experience by making it more welcoming, engaging, and vibrant. We will create a first-in-class guest experience with an inspiring orientation, necessary wayfinding and amenities, expanded exhibition space, and increased access to collections. Our programming will be fresh, relevant, and meaningful. PROJECTS & AREAS OF FOCUS • New Museum Orientation Experience

• New Museum Cafe

• New Permanent and Changing

• Improved Museum Shop

Exhibit Galleries • More Interactive Exhibits and Multimedia Experiences • New Programs for Families and Youth


• New Great Hall/Community Space • Improved Campus Landscape • Expanded Parking Lot and Green Space • Improved Campus Connection to VMFA

GOAL B We will bring new life to our research library and scholarly activities. We will encourage more active use of our library; build new relationships in the academic community; and more actively publish works in order to reestablish our role as a leading history content provider. PROJECTS & AREAS OF FOCUS • New Library Programming • Expanded Publication Program

• Expanded Library Services and Modernized Reading Room

GOAL C We will meaningfully attract and engage an audience more representative of our community and commonwealth. PROJECTS & AREAS OF FOCUS • New Exhibits and Programs to Feature Diverse Stories

• New Guest Accessibility Program • New Diversity Program

GOAL D We will maximize the potential of our new vision and strategic plan by reenergizing our promotional activities and improving our online presence in order to raise awareness of our work and progress, and to build a stronger digital community. PROJECTS & AREAS OF FOCUS • New Website

• Expanded Use of Digital Media

• Improved Social Media Program

• New Member Magazine/Newsletter






We will continue to grow and safeguard our collection and develop new and innovative ways to keep them in the spotlight. We will ensure our collection is an essential source of knowledge on the commonwealth.

GOAL A We will improve the depth and breadth of our collection to better represent all Virginia history and the many people who made it. PROJECTS & AREAS OF FOCUS • New Strategy to Fill Underrepresented Areas of Permanent Collection

• Improved Institutional Archives • New Initiative to Collect Today’s History

(geographic regions, ethnic groups, time period)

GOAL B We will make our online collection catalogue more comprehensive and easier to search, and similarly make related digital resources more accessible. PROJECTS & AREAS OF FOCUS • Improved Online Collections Database

• Expanded Collections Digitization Program

GOAL C We will continue to systematically improve our procedures and practices for how we care for our collections, and proactively plan for accommodating future additions. PROJECTS & AREAS OF FOCUS • Improved and Expanded Collection Storage

• Expanded Conservation Program

• Improved Museum Climate Control






We will be a state-wide hub for the teaching of Virginia history. We will encourage Virginia museums, historic houses, and like-minded organizations to cross-pollinate ideas and promote learning. We will participate in local, state, and national conversations.

GOAL A We will dramatically increase our presence across the commonwealth by supporting and partnering with like-minded institutions, and by furthering our educational activities as a leading resource and supporter of our state education system. PROJECTS & AREAS OF FOCUS • Expanded Virginia History Day Student Program • Expanded HistoryConnects Student Distance Learning Program

• Improved Teacher Training Program • New Statewide Museum Partnerships • Improved Digital Distribution of Onsite Programs and Lectures

GOAL B We will reinforce our national reputation and presence through more active outreach, collaboration, and industry participation. PROJECTS & AREAS OF FOCUS • Renewed Leadership in National

• Expanded Traveling Exhibit Program

Museum/History Organizations






We will become a model of responsible management and fiscal stability. We will invest in our staff and volunteers, and develop a diversified funding strategy that focuses on earned income, annual charitable giving, and eases the pressure on our endowment.

GOAL A We will invest in our team to increase satisfaction, productivity, and institutional effectiveness. PROJECTS & AREAS OF FOCUS • New Staff Professional Development

• Expanded Volunteer Program


GOAL B We will substantially improve the diversity of our income portfolio and be better stewards of how we use our existing resources. PROJECTS & AREAS OF FOCUS • Improved Earned Income Through Events, Facility Rentals, and Retail

• Improved Endowment • Expanded Membership Program

• Expanded Use of Virginia House

GOAL C We will improve the sustainability of our facilities and implement best practices for safety and security. PROJECTS & AREAS OF FOCUS • Improved Security and Emergency Preparedness Practices

• New Sustainability and Energy Efficiency Initiatives


We can only do this if we do this together. Please join us! Jamie O. Bosket President & CEO

Bob Halbruner VP for Advancement




Profile for Virginia Historical Society

Virginia Museum of History & Culture 2018 Strategic Plan  

This booklet contains the six-year strategic plan of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.

Virginia Museum of History & Culture 2018 Strategic Plan  

This booklet contains the six-year strategic plan of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.