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Programming activities for 2010

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Programming activities

The Programming Committee established by the Commission and led by Laura Pires Hester has begun discussing the need to restart and expand programming in advance of the Ernestina sailing and even if the vessel is not available in New Bedford. Because there is no full time staff, the committee will try to coordinate a series of events and possibly even restarting of regular education programming on board or relating to the Ernestina. Some financial resources are available for education programs. The idea of paying someone to plan and coordinate such programs has been raised recognizing the need to define the scope and function of such a person. Ideas are welcome.

The New Bedford Whaling Museum has expressed interest in having training for some of its docents to know more about the Ernestina and to inform museum visitors about the ship. Previous discussions with the staff of the New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park addressed a similar desire for Park volunteers. We have now agreed that one of the sessions in this year's Park volunteer training series will be devoted to the Ernestina. The date will be coordinated with the Museum volunteers council to encourage their attendance. These sessions are also open to the public. Further discussions will look at coordinating visitor tours to or onto the Ernestina through the Park Visitors Center and museum.

Paul Anthony will again be doing teacher training through Bristol Community College this summer. He would like to use the Ernestina as a central focus as he has in the past. Further discussions will explore how to support Paul's use of the ship either if it is at dockside or not. We also be looking at how to expand the curriculum materials which Paul has developed.

Stephen Gaun will renew contacts which Paul Brawley previously made with two separate Cape Verdean filmmakers who are working on projects that relate to the Ernestina. We are also trying to figure out how to make better use of existing video materials including a short video done by Tom Goux for marketing of the Ernestina's educational programs. Video materials could be useful for public outreach, fundraising, supporting education programming and other purposes.

Historic Sites of Newfoundland and Labrador, the organization which produced Celebrate Bartlett 2009, has offered to send their traveling exhibition materials to New Bedford in conjunction with the plan to bring them to Maine in April. Newfoundland folk musicians, Jim Payne and Fergus O'Byrne may come in connection with this display, most likely in April. The Whaling Museum can host the display but only for a short time. Another location will also be sought.

The Buzzards Bay Rowing Club has renewed its offer to have its June multi-class race benefit the Ernestina. They need to know if the friends of Ernestina can follow through on the idea of adding a fishing dory race to the event. Chuck Smiler is looking for additional volunteers to assist in this effort. The Rowing Club needs an answer in January.

Further programming needs include winter public programs of the sort that were done last winter including a birthday event(?), summer festivals and other events, and dockside programs. DCR may provide a summer interpretive position as it has in the past, but that is not certain.

The Programming Committee recognizes that volunteers will be the key to success and volunteer coordination will be complex and ongoing need. If you have interests in any of the programming areas, your help will be appreciated.