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Hancock Shaker Village Receives $1 Million Grant from Kresge Foundation to Reinvent Museum Business Model

Photo courtesy of Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield, MA
PITTSFIELD, Mass., USA /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Hancock Shaker Village President and CEO Ellen Spear announced today that the living history museum has received a $1 million grant from the Kresge Foundation. The grant was awarded as part of the foundation’s Sector Leaders investments, an invitation-only component of the Kresge Arts and Culture Program’s Institutional Capitalization initiative. It recognizes Hancock Shaker Village’s work as a visionary organization pursuing transformational projects designed to shift its business model and to serve as a field-wide example of leadership. 
“Appropriate levels of capitalization that allow an organization to grow or reinvent itself is standard in the for-profit sector, but has not routinely been considered best practice in the nonprofit sector,” said Alice Carle, program director of the foundation’s arts and culture program.  “Kresge wishes to reverse this trend by supporting cultural organizations that have completed the thoughtful, exploratory process to reinvent their business models. Hancock Shaker Village is a shining example of such an institution and we are proud to help it move boldly into a sustainable future.” 
Over the past two years, Hancock Shaker Village has begun implementing a comprehensive business plan that calls for the development of new and diverse sources of revenue. “We are taking steps to move away from the outmoded museum business model of dependence upon admission and gift shop revenue,” said Spear. “Instead, we are using our resources to address community needs while generating revenue from new, sustainable sources, such as with a new architecture curriculum for K-5 that is under development, and the new Master’s Degree program in Historic Preservation in partnership with the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.”
The Village will invest in its website to expand its service to the public and its revenue potential and it is considering several business initiatives, including expansion of its licensing capabilities and food and agriculture-related enterprises. As new ventures take hold, Hancock Shaker Village will seek other investors to help move initiatives to the next level. 
About Kresge Foundation
The Kresge Foundation is a $3.1 billion private, national foundation based in Troy, Michigan
About Hancock Shaker Village
Hancock Shaker Village is an outdoor living history museum and center for reflection on living a principled life in the 21st century located in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, publicist, strategist, blogger, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She excels at writing about all aspects of design and technical design, production and project management. Areas of special interest include AV integration and show control, lighting design and acoustics, specialty cinema, digital video and world’s fairs. Judith has ties to numerous industry organizations. From 2005-2020 she ran communications, publications and social media for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA, and co-chair of the 2014 IMERSA Summit. She was publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association in the 1990s, now part of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) and has also contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Already making her mark as a magazine and book editor, Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. Launching as a freelancer in the mid 1990s she has contributed to dozens of publications and media outlets including Funworld, Lighting&Sound America, Sound & Communications, Urban Land, The Raconteur and The Planetarian. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. She has lived in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and now makes her home in Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts and theater community.

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