The Custom House and the Cushing House are museums. You’ve heard the old saying, “As dead as a museum” which is supposed to bring to mind, static exhibits in which the stale stillness of the air is the main feature.
We all as Newburyporters should be very proud that our two institutions are hardly that. They have become centers of wonderful educational experiences and great events.
I thought that one action by the Custom House should be especially recognized: First Friday Night Friends Night. (Try saying THAT three times.)
It was first created as a concept by Trish and Jim Robinson, museum members.
The idea was for members of the Custom House to invite their ‘family and friends” who were not members to come to a free event and have a social hour coupled with a speaker or centered around an exhibit so that everyone could learn how important Newburyport’s maritime history was and how important the museum was to the City. And if they were interested, they could then choose to join. (I still remember the first time they did it – the whole night was centered around a ‘rusty’ historic sword – no special speaker just a few loyal museum members.)
It has grown to a smashing success and many, partaking in a ‘taste’ of Newburyport’s history; have gone on and excitedly joined which of course has opened them up to more events like the Chowderfest this weekend and even some field trips such as a recent one to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
This Friday evening, October 7th, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, museum members and their guests are invited to attend a celebration of the fourth exhibition of 2011: A Merrimack Motif. Guests will be invited to view the exhibition before the guest speaker does his presentation.
This time it will be Andrew M. Sidford, AIA, principal of Andrew Sidford Architects of Newburyport, who will present an architectural perspective of the Chain Bridge.
Mr. Sidford’s experience operating his own architectural firm here in Newburyport for nearly twenty years, and service as Vice Chairman of the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority, provides a heightened appreciation of Newburyport’s rich architectural heritage. He will share his observations on the very new and innovative structural experimentation that was undertaken with bridge design in Newburyport.
For your refreshment, wine, beer (Harpoon Beer – the official beer of the museum) and soft drinks will be served – along with extra special hors d’oeuvres created by Sheila Mullins, as she continues her inspired Spice Trade Culinary Adventure. Each month, a different country’s food will be highlighted – each country visited in the past by our merchants and ship captains when we were an international port. This month, the Spice Trade Culinary Adventure transports us to the exotic south pacific islands of Samoa!
Do you know someone who is a member of the Custom House? You might want to hint to them to invite you!