2008 Annual Appeal

Eli Whitney Museum

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We write to thank you for all that we have accomplished with your past investment in the Museum and to ask you for your continued support. This Fall has tested confidence in most investments. We still offer a promising, long term investment in the curiosity and constructions of children.

Consider our work with marbles. Many toddlers read the flow of marbles through our marble wall long before they will decode words. Five year-olds marvel at the image inverted in Frederick’s* eye. Nine year-olds abstract the rules for pinball games. Teens construct intricate relays that test their inventiveness, precision and teamwork. No place distributes more marbles than this Museum.

At our best, we uncover the most direct and truthful experiments in learning. We may help build the stage. But the marbles perform—they always know nature’s script flawlessly. Children learn.

Our mission is simple. The enterprise is not. We need exerienced educators. And the abiding energy of countless apprentices. We need the space and time to blend the talents and visions of all kinds of students. We need wood and glue, markers and, of course, marbles. This year: a half ton of marbles.

When you give to our Annual Fund, you invest in an old fashioned enterprise. The return: measure it in the eyes of every child who recognizes the wisdom of marbles. That’s growth.

Bill Brown's Signature

*Frederick by Leo Lionni, Knopf 1967

Sharing resources

The Open Workshop fund reduces or eliminates the cost of programs for 2,100 children whose families or schools lack the resources to join our workshops or field trips. That need is growing.

Building expertise

The Apprentice Fund supports training. Fifty-five teenagers are gaining dexterity, expertise, poise, confidence and wisdom.

Rewriting rules

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

Inventing ourselves

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

Expanding our hands

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

Planting for the future

The Stewardship Fund trains and guides the apprentices and volunteers who are restoring to the site the beauty and diversity that Eli Whitney encountered here 200 years ago. 22 trees, 20 varieties of wildflowers and shrubs planted this past year.

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