Our doors are open. The ribbon is cut. RTPI is back and Rising.
For those of you who may not have been following us on Facebook Live on Saturday, May 29, our reopening celebration was a big success. The rain held off. The cool temperatures meant that coffee and hot chocolate from Paul’s Rocket Stoves may have outpaced wine tastings from Johnson Estate Winery. But Cherry Bomb BBQ kept everyone well fed and Fowler’s Taffy sated everyone’s sweet tooth with taffy apples and lemonade. Chautauqua Jazz Revival added just the right note of elegance to the festivities.
RTPI scored three proclamations from five elected leaders in attendance – Congressman Tom Reed, State Senator George Borrello, Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist, State Assemblyman Andy Goodell, and Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel. In addition to the proclamations, each elected leader shared very kind words of support, underscoring RTPI’s intrinsic value at the municipal, county, state and national level.
Inside the museum…well, just wow. The Art of the Osprey, our inaugural exhibition under our new strategic plan, was a huge hit. Kudos to our curatorial team, which included Jane Johnson, Twan Leenders and George Harper. Filling every gallery in the museum, the exhibition worked as intended. It got people engaged, thinking, talking, discussing, discovering new things, challenging preconceived ideas. It all began with Jeanne Wiebenga’s beautiful osprey photographs, revealing the beauty of these global raptors and their fascinating family life. It was a lot of fun engaging with visitors as they proceeded through the exhibition, gobsmacked to discover just how close we came to eliminating osprey due to DDT. And equally astonished to learn of the role Roger, Rachel Carson, Richard Nixon and many others played in the successful struggle to ban DDT, which has led to the slow but steady recovery of ospreys, bald eagles, peregrine falcons, brown pelicans and other bird species.
Kudos, as well, to our new Visitor Experience Associate team. Led by Amy Hudson, it includes David Niles, Amelia Duffee and Emily Nelson. Together, they exceeded all expectations greeting and servicing our large number of visitors. They did an equally impressive job re-envisioning our museum store, stocked with a lot of new merchandise, including hats, fleeces and shirts sporting the new RTPI logo.
And this is just the beginning. Up next is a robust array of programs to accompany the exhibition. This coming Saturday, Yoga with the Birds returns to RTPI, followed by an osprey, or “fish hawk” program featuring a guest from the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum. The following Wednesday, we will host the official exhibition reception for The Art of the Osprey. Thereafter, every Wednesday RTPI will host Art After Five – food, drink and live music on the back patio, with a brief program featuring an invited guest speaker.
We hope that you will come see us for one or many of the programs and events this month. See the events page for the most up-to-date list.
Arthur Pearson, your CEO