PR for People Monthly September 2017 - Page 32

Faktorovich: Karen, I took a screenshot of the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum, of which you are the director, and included it below. This seems to be an idyllic location and the museum and educational facilities look like great places to visit. Your website describes that the idea for the museum was conceived in 1992. Due to hurricanes, flooding and other delays, the project was only completed in 2009. You were there as the founding member from the start. Would you recommend this process of fundraising for and building a new museum to others who might be inspired by your experiences? Was all the hard work worth the effort? Before starting this effort, you worked as a teacher and administrator for different types of schools. Did some of the $6.5 million you raised for this center go towards paying your salary in the years when it was in construction? How did you decide which share you would keep for sustenance and what share would go toward the build? Is there a blurry line between taking what you need and taking too much when working on a community project? Did you face any criticism regarding your salary from the other members of your board? Or was it a collaborative environment, or one where you had control over the project without turbulence? What was the most difficult part about administrating a building project like this one?

Amspacher: The idea for a museum began with the Decoy Carvers Guild who sought a place to display and document waterfowling traditions along Core Sound including decoys, hunting memorabilia and the art of carving waterfowl. I volunteered with the Guild during the first years of their now well-known Core Sound Decoy Festival and as a social studies teacher dedicated to local community history, I naturally became involved in the museum conversation.

Once the concept began to grow it was evident that the vision needed to include other segments of the history and culture of the region. As more and more people became involved, the idea grew to become a museum and heritage center to celebrate not just the history but the living traditions of the region. Twenty-five years later, decoys and carving remain the centerpiece of our museum mission, but this focus is now strengthened by the larger components of community heritage and oral history gathering, natural resource protection through environmental education, community preservation initiatives and as an economic catalyst for heritage and eco-tourism growth that provides resource-friendly jobs for local residents.

The CSWM&HC is a community-based non-profit and therefore our financial challenges have been many. However, those “challenges” have been our greatest asset, building a strong sense of community ownership and investment. We have worked for every accomplishment and although it has taken 25 years to complete the facility, we have a building that radiates community pride. Most definitely YES, it has been worth the struggle.

The hardest part was not the work, but rather the community doubts along the way. For many the project grew to be too large to comprehend on paper and yes, there was “turbulence” along the way. Years and years of fund raising and credibility-building with partners (state and federal agencies, major givers, universities, other non-profits) left many local community members to doubt, and sometimes fear, where this was going. Some still criticize the fact that it IS “more than decoys” but

Carving demonstrations Travis Dove