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Glass Museum humbled by generosity during pandemic

Posted on Jun 8, 2021, by

In addition to its many exhibits and events, the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass in Neenah will soon be able to hold in-person classes like this one again. The museum is supported by many generous donors in the community.

Amy Moorefield

By Amy G. Moorefield, Executive Director, Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass

“Flexible pivots” has been our mantra over the past year as we find nimble ways to continue to serve our community in pandemic times. We have moved much to the virtual world, found ways to remain safely open, and most importantly continued to provide high-quality experiences regardless of global setbacks. I like to use the phrase, “It’s YOUR museum” because Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass has been serving the Fox Cities since 1959, an impressive 61 years now.

That being said, like many arts and cultural institutions, Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass has been impacted financially by the pandemic. We are grateful for the federal and state support we received as well as grants from community foundations such as the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, all of whom have uplifted our institution during this time. Additionally, “many hands” held up our organizations through renewing their memberships (we saw a slight increase in membership during the pandemic) and reached deep in their respective pockets to provide generous support to help us through these times.

In particular, we are beyond humbled by the generosity of our community through the tremendous success of our fall fund drive. I am deeply indebted and thankful to our community angels, Lynn and Roger Van Vreede, whose gift match was a major SPARK to encourage many others to support the museum. With their philanthropic spirit, we exceeded our fund drive goal by 30%. It takes a creative village to uplift a museum. Ours has benefited greatly from the community’s benevolence and I thank you.

The Dalai Lama says that “the creation of a more peaceful and happier society has to begin from the level of the individual, and from there it can expand to one’s family, to one’s neighborhood, to one’s community and so on.” Likewise, the generosity of our community started with each individual diving deep to help us on so many levels. We are emerging from the pandemic stronger and yet more flexible because of the steadfast care from our community.

This spring and summer bring new innovations and exhibitions– from a special exhibition highlighting 200 new gifts to our collection, to a full season of unique classes and summer camps developed by The Glass Studio. Stay tuned for a new “friendraiser” virtual auction to benefit the museum and participating artists called “Catching Fire” this week, as well as the return to in-person art activity days. Come make a trip to YOUR museum soon, we are here for you.

The Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass in Neenah is supported by grants from several funds within the Community Foundation, including the David H. and Suzanne J. Peck Family Fund, Helen Hardt Family Fund, William and Helen Burger Memorial Fund, and a $20,000 matching gift from the Roger and Lynn Van Vreede Charitable Fund. Interested in exploring a family fund? We have a variety of flexible fund options. Check them out here.

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