Executive Director Update

July 1, 2020

Things are cookin’ at Heritage Square, and not just because it’s 110° out there! While our public operations have been closed due to the pandemic, we’ve been very busy…

You’ll be happy to know we have been working hard on our plans for reopening, and we are shooting for Sept. 4th, just in time for Labor Day weekend. We want to be sure our staff and visitors are safe, so we may have to push the date back if Arizona is still experiencing large numbers of new COVID-19 cases, but we are optimistic and getting ready for you! Staff has been cleaning throughout the Rosson House and rediscovering interesting pieces in the collection such as a WWII land mine that led to an evacuation but turned out to be inactive. If you haven’t toured the house lately, you need to visit to see that!

Our staff has also continued to develop virtual events and programs. Our popular Séances & Spiritualists tour expanded to a 4-part Zoom lecture series, and we have added activities and interesting content to our website’s History at Home page, and showcased artists in the online store. We have featured poets and musicians online during Giving Tuesday Now and Make Music Day, and these have been extremely popular, so watch for more.

Though we had to close our exhibit space that currently displays “The Great Migration: Indiscernibles in Arizona” by curator Clottee Hammons of Emancipation Arts, LLC, we have continued to partner with Clottee to provide online content. Heritage Square was the site of the 24th annual Emancipation Marathon that you can see now on YouTube, providing a glimpse into African-American history and its ongoing impact.

When you received our last newsletter, Heritage Square Foundation was in rough financial shape. We’re not completely out of the woods, with the majority of our staff back on furlough, but we’ve received enough support that we are more confident we will weather this storm. With relief funding through the Payroll Protection Program and Arizona Humanities Council, along with generous donations and your memberships, we will survive.

But we don’t want to merely survive; we want to become stronger and more relevant than ever. We continue to develop project plans that will have a positive impact in our community and seek funding to support programs and continue to preserve the historic buildings in our care. We still need your help to do it. Please consider joining our Giving Circle by donating a small amount every month. Tell your friends about what a great place Heritage Square is and encourage them to visit even now to walk around and see the beautiful architecture and support one of our struggling restaurants. Give the gift of membership to someone. Support a local artist by purchasing their pieces from the online store.

Thank you for being a friend to Heritage Square! We have so many more plans in the works, and I’ll be so excited to share more success stories with you in the coming months.

Be well, my fellow time travelers!

Kari Carlisle