2011 Annual Appeal

Eli Whitney Museum

Show Menu
Thumbnail of 2011 Annual Appeal project

Felix is six. Standing amid a group of red-shirted apprentices, he announced that he was going to work at the Museum when he grows up. He may not understand that DJ* (now 19, and with us since he was six,) will be well beyond college when he begins his apprenticeship at age 13. But Felix knows that what DJ, Ali and the others do is good, and that it will be here for him in 7 years. And that he will be here for us. Felix has long vision.

Each year we write to thank you for all that we have accomplished with your support and to ask for your continued help. It’s an annual Appeal, but Felix has reminded me that it has longer meanings.

When we ask ourselves, where should I invest?, we look at Felix and all children and know that they deserve the skills and optimism essential to growth, change, opportunity and fresh rewards.

We are asking you to invest in the Museum’s Annual Fund. Every project we produce offers the joy of making small things work and the prospect of making things work better. Each of the Fund’s initiatives addresses a challenge that is both immediate and promises a return this year and the year after, and
the year after.

Your participation embraces Felix’s long vision.


* Deshawn Johnson (DJ). Former camper, then Apprentice, then Senior Apprentice, now part time Senior Staff while attending college. Can you find the ubiquitious DJ in the following photos?

1. Investing in Fairness 49%

The Open Workshop Fund reduces or eliminates the cost of programs for children whose families or schools lack the resources to join our workshops or field trips.

157 Summer Workshop Scholarships.
71 Scholarships for refugee children
(with IRIS, IANH).
680 Reduced cost projects for most-in-need children.
240 Beta Test Projects for Washington School.
134 PACK projects at the Museum.

2. Investing in Mastery 15%

The Apprenticeship Fund supports training. Seventy-five middle school, high school and college students are gaining expertise, poise, confidence and wisdom.

Most of their time is active production, design and teaching. The Apprenticeship Fund supports direct and individual mentoring, experimental projects, design challenges and the social experience that is essential to maturing in a workplace.

3. Investing in Invention 15%

The Design Fund supports research and development. We reinvent our established projects…perpetually. We create new projects to teach old and new ideas. Fifteen staff and apprentices will work on 100 new designs this year.

Senior Staff spend 700 hours on design.

The Design Fund is working to engage 100% of the apprentices in some facet of design.

4. Investing in Time 14%

The Jack Viele Fund provides extra hands. 800 hours of support this past summer for children who lack the strength, or confidence, or concentration to master our projects.

Not all children who need help have special needs, but every child who needs any support is special.

5. Investing for Change 3%

The Catherine Greene Fund encourages girls to try activities traditionally associated with boys.

Caty Greene was the vivacious, bold and independent widow of Major General Nathaniel Greene who supported Eli Whitney’s work on the cotton gin. We return the encouragement…

• Eleven scholarships for girls with unbounded curiosity and drive.

• The Polly Lada Mocarski Prize to recognize the Museum’s young women leaders.

6. Investing for Growth 4%

No task requires longer vision than the labor of uprooting and replacing the invasive species that thrive on post-industrial sites.

The Stewardship Fund trains and guides the apprentices who plant native trees, shrubs and forbs (understory plants) every year to establish a succession that will support the beauty and diversity encountered here in 1798.

Since the year 2000, we have planted 57 trees and 70 varieties of forbs and flowers with the help of 108 apprentices.

Back to Top