Performance Counts: December 2013

Posted on December 13th, 2013 by


In a November 26 article in the Jewish Times I was quoted as saying that at a small museum “you have to spend more energy making sure you’re on the map.”  We are using this issue of Performance Counts to update you on some of our efforts to make ourselves better known.

Speaking of Maps

3047_002Last month the Greater Baltimore History Alliance published a new map of historical sites in metro Baltimore and it’s just the latest tool for visitor’s to navigate the region’s rich historic landscape.  Historic Jonestown has its own block of color on the map (we think the color is Raven’s purple) reflecting the density of historic attractions within a five block radius.  We are dues-paying members of the Greater Baltimore History Alliance (GBHA) and the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA) not just because we have a place in their geography, but because our regular meetings with other Baltimore cultural institutions inspire partnerships and collaborations.  At one GBHA meeting this summer, JMM entered into a conversation with the National Electronics Museum (at first you might think this the ultimate “odd couple”).  But now a joint project is emerging next summer to bring a community tech and engineering fair to JMM, a show that combines some great artifacts in our collection (sewing machines, typewriters etc.) with hand-on DIY tech activities for the whole family.  We are also part of BNHA (the Baltimore National Heritage Area) which recently developed a conceptual planning “map” for this federally recognized district.  This interpretive plan for the Heritage Area opens up the road to eventual project funding for JMM.  From our perspective, this is a wonderful development – so many aspects of the interpretive plan – “defining America’s identity”, documenting the “immigrants influx”, securing “religious freedom” overlap with our core mission.

Circulator Map

One map of increased importance to us as our attendance grows is Baltimore’s Circulator map.  We noticed this last summer an up-tick in people reporting that they reached our doors by free bus rather than by car.  It is a significant asset to not only be on the Circulator map – but to be a named location on the route.  Thousands of people each day first here about us when the audio recording on the bus calls out: “next stop, Jewish Museum of Maryland”.

A “Map” for Donors

Of course, it’s not just visitors that need to find us.  We need to get into the philanthropic map of the community as well.  This mainly involves developing the network of contacts that allow us to make our case to those who share a passion for our mission.  A lot of this effort is centered on personal contact.  But to back up that personal contact we’ve really needed materials that describe the museum.  In the last month we had a major advance on this front.  Working with the design team at the firm of Gallagher and Associates (a pro bono contribution to JMM), we have created a new generation of collateral material that matches the new vision the Board approved in fall 2012.

3048_001The theme of this collateral material is “{Find Yourself Here}” – a message about inclusion and community that speaks to the soul of the institution.  The first step in our effort was to create a descriptive brochure about JMM as a place of Discovery, Discourse, and Documentation and as a Destination for thousands of visitors.  The descriptive piece also has a matching folder – our old plain purple folders may have described our football loyalties, but didn’t really say much about the Jewish Museum of Maryland.

The next step will be creating single page sheets on upcoming opportunities for funding that match the brochure and folder, and finally a video clip that can be embedded in a Power Point presentation or inserted in the folder.

We expect to have a presentation of our case that reflects the true quality of the underlying museum and that’s the place where we want to be on the “map.”

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How many does it take…

Posted on October 6th, 2013 by


…to install a map?

Check out this photo montage of the crew hanging the map!


Measuring to center to figure out how high the map should be so that it is eye-level.

Lining up the blue tape that will mark center along the edge.

Lining up the blue tape that will mark center along the edge.

Leveling the bottom.

Leveling the bottom.

Confirming that its centered.

Confirming that its centered.

And leveled on center

And leveled on center.


Posted in jewish museum of maryland