|From:||National Employment Lawyers Association <email@example.com>|
|Date:||Thu, 29 Dec 1994 14:09:09 -0800 (PST)|
|Subject:||Treasure Island Museum|
My name is Anne Schnoebelen. I am President of the Board of Directors of the Treasure Island Museum and a long-time volunteer and activist on behalf of the museum and the heritage of Treasure Island. I am a writer and historian, having published extensively about the history of Treasure Island and the artistic, architectural and cultural significance of the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island, 1939-1940. I have lots of academic credentials, as everyone on this conference seems to, but they are unrelated either to my professional work or my involvement with Treasure Island! I wish to participate in this conference because our museum on Treasure Island is threatened by the closure of Naval Station Treasure Island. Base closure poses many threats to the environment, to the economy, to workers, working space and living space. One threat that is rarely discussed is the loss of cultural resources--that's us! Many thanks to Lenny and to Aimee for welcoming me to this conference, and for their interest and suggestions. We are an "official" Navy museum and from the time of our founding in 1975 until October 1, 1994, we received almost 100% of our funding from the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Approximately 60% of our collecting and exhibit areas are devoted to the history of the Sea Services in the Pacific from 1860 to the present. But we also have a strong civilian component: the history of Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island, the Bay Bridge, the China Clipper flying boats, and the Golden Gate International Exposition (the latter being our most popular exhibit, collecting and research areas). We also have an extensive library and archives based upon our collecting areas, which see a great deal of public, academic and government use. In approximately June of 1993, we learned that the base was slated for closure. The closure date is now firmly placed at September, 1997. The museum's staff, board and volunteers have been working energetically since 1993 to ensure that our museum will remain open after base closure, and to ensure that we will remain in our historic location (which was created in 1939 to house a terminal for the airport that Treasure Island was supposed to become--but never did). The Treasure Island Museum is the only Naval museum "hit" by the current round of base closures, and I am told by Dr. Dean Allard, Director of Naval History, that we are the only Naval museum to attempt to remain open through and beyond closure of a base. Additional information: *Funding.* The Navy will permit us to remain in our building through the time of base closure, free of charge. The Navy pays our "rent" and utilities. DOD funding through the Legacy Foundation for an ongoing catalog/ registration project is pending. BRAC monies for the same project are probable. Between June-October 1994, we raised enough money through private donations to remain in operation through approximately March of 1995. We derive some income from a gift shop and door donations. We intend to launch a major fund-raising campaign in early 1995 in order to remain operational through 1995 and beyond. The Navy WILL NOT ALLOW us to charge admission at the door, based upon a Navy regulation which, we are told, cannot be excepted for our case. We are seeking political assistance in our efforts to achieve a waiver of this regulation. At our current attendance levels (60,000+ annually) a modest door donation would keep us in operation. The museum has a "friends" organization, the Treasure Island Museum Association. Through fundraising and publicity over the past six months we have tripled our membership. *Publicity.* Our greatest assets, our location and our beautiful building, are also our worst enemies. Treasure Island is "invisible" to most people--merely an exit on the Bay Bridge. We are launching an advertising campaign in early 1995, and have managed to put a State Historic Landmark Sign on the Bay Bridge. In spite of a continued letter-writing and telephoning campaign, CalTrans will not allow us to put up sign on the bridge (not even one of those modest blue signs that read "MUSEUM"). Senator Quentin Kopp is assisting us in this project. We received a great deal of media attention in Summer of 1994, including an editorial in the San Francisco Examiner, major articles in the Chronicle and Examiner, and articles in most of the smaller papers around the Bay Area. We also received television and radio coverage. This publicity boosted our attendance markedly--it was up 33 1/3 percent. We hope that our advertising campaign, which will be placed on public transportation vehicles all around the Bay Area, will keep up this trend. *Community Relations.* We have initiated new, close relations with the City of San Francisco, as the City is the most likely new tenant of Treasure Island when the base closes. One of our board members, Claire Isaacs (formerly Executive Director of the San Francisco Art Commission), has been appointed to the Mayor's Citizens Advisory Committee on Base Reuse and Closure for Treasure Island. The City intends to install a small exhibit in our museum illustrating the base closure process. We are in regular contact with many city hall employees and officials in an effort to gain information about future intentions for Treasure Island and to ensure that we are not forgotten. The Board of Supervisors issued a Resolution in July of this year stating their support of the museum. We recently made a trip to Washington, D.C. where we "paid calls" upon the Secretary of the Navy, the administrator of the Legacy Foundation, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and other officials in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill. The follow-up to this was a visit to Treasure Island and our museum by the Secretary of the Navy. We have assurance from all concerned--the City of San Francisco, the Navy, Senators and Congresspeople--that everyone wants to see us remain open. However, we are still responsible for raising money. And no one can assure us that we will be allowed to remain in our building after 1997. There is much more to this story. I will appreciate any and all comments and suggestions. Please send me email or call me at 415/227-4655 (w), 415/326- 7008 (h). And come see our museum! We are free, open 10:30 every day but Christmas, New Year's, and Thanksgiving. We do have a gift shop and a newsletter. Take the Bay Bridge to the Treasure Island Exit, and follow the road around Yerba Buena Island (that's the island that the bridge goes through) to Treasure Island. We are in the first building on the island, just inside the unguarded guard gate.
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