Sea Glass - A World-Class Traveling Museum Exhibit project video thumbnail
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$1,488 pledged of $60,000 goal
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$1,488 pledged of $60,000 goal
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About

The Sea Glass Center is a nonprofit corporation organized in the state of Maine. Our mission is to educate the world about all aspects of sea glass and to preserve a world-class collection for the public to explore and enjoy.

Whether you call these artifacts sea glass, beach glass, mermaid tears or lake glass, if you have walked a beach and found one of these gems, you are hooked.  You want to know more about them--like what did the sea glass piece come from?  How did it end up in the water?  How long has it been in the water? 

These are questions we've asked ourselves countless times as collectors, and we are ready to find the answers and share them with the public through an interactive, traveling sea glass museum exhibit.  Our traveling exhibit will give everyone the opportunity to learn more about sea glass, its beauty and history at venues close to your home, such as history and science museums, aquariums, educational centers, libraries and festivals.  Here's some more specific information on our project and us:

Sea glass, also called beach glass, is glass that somehow ended up in a body of water, such as an ocean, lake, or even a river, and has lived in that body of water for years, decades, sometimes even maybe a century or more, and because of this existence, has taken on a form different than what it originally was when it entered the water.  This is due to elements such as waves, rocks, sand, storms, the sun, sea creatures, tidal patterns, coastlines and so forth.  Sea glass can eventually make its way back to land where it is washed up on our shores with a different appearance than when it entered the water.  That’s where beauty, passion and excitement enter the picture!

Here are a few examples: 

A wine bottle tossed over a ship in the 1920’s after a night of fun and dancing during a trans-Atlantic voyage may now wash up on a beach in Connecticut or New Jersey as a very smooth quarter-sized piece of frosted olive green colored glass.  

An old jar of Noxzema from the 1950’s that ended up in a landfill near the water may resurface as a frosted piece of a bottle bottom where you see the letters “EA” on it.   

A shiny marble that was tossed into the waves by a little girl making a summer vacation wish will make its way back to land as a tiny colorful and frosted rainbow ball only to be found by another little girl decades later during her summer vacation. 

There are no limits as to what color, shape or size of sea glass (or even pottery, porcelain, clay or metal) you may find.  Each piece is a treasure to the person that finds it and each piece has a story to tell.   It is our goal to share the rich history of sea glass with the world so everyone can enjoy its beauty and history.

Why us?  We are lovers of sea glass, we have hunted for it and it has been part of our lives for decades, whether for the excitement of finding it, the pure enjoyment of collecting it or for our art or livelihoods.  It is part of who we are and defines each of our everyday lives in some way!  Collectively, we have extensive backgrounds in managing all aspects of a business, including small business and nonprofit management.  We have decades of fundraising, grant writing, museum work, advertising and marketing, as well as experience with navigating through different social media platforms, professional photography and even work in film.  We are ready to make our dream a reality.

Although we’ve been involved with sea glass in some way, shape or form for years and years, we recently founded The Sea Glass Center, Inc. so we may realize our collective dream and move forward in a more formal way.  Our goal is to capture, preserve and share the beauty and historical significance of sea glass with the general public before it disappears from the earth!  We will do this by creating a one-of-a-kind world-class museum quality traveling exhibit that will explore and present the beauty and historical significance of sea glass, where it is found, how it is formed.  We will not only focus on the art of sea glass, but the items that formed them and how they may have ended up in the oceans, lakes or rivers.   We will explain what roles the tide, current, surf and sun play in making these treasured artifacts.

Sea glass collecting has been a hobby of many for generations and generations.  There is nothing more exciting than spotting that “piece of sparkling treasure” as you comb the beach, tucking it in your pocket and taking it home to wash off and throw into a jar for you, your family and visitors to admire time and time again.  This hobby has become more and more popular in recent years with enthusiasts and newbies alike.  There are now published books about sea glass and its beauty, annual festivals celebrating sea glass being held all over the country and the world, countless storefronts with sea glass artisan jewelry popping up in coastal resort towns, websites, Etsy pages and Ebay auctions boasting the rarest finds made into stunning pieces of art and jewelry… And the list goes on.  There is even fake sea glass out there now, with people using rock tumblers to try and replicate one of a kind gems.

Genuine, surf tumbled sea glass is getting harder and harder to find and we are afraid it is quickly becoming a pastime of the past for many reasons.  Here are some:

  • Plastic is being used much more than glass these days.  For instance, decades ago, thousands upon thousands of Coca Cola bottles were ending up in our waters, being broken down and polished by the surf and ending up on the beach (and in our collections).  Now Coca Cola and other beverage bottlers use plastic bottles...
  • More and more people have discovered sea glass!  Years ago, you'd maybe find one or two other beach combers searching for the same treasure, but nowadays, it's not uncommon to be elbow to elbow with a dozen other enthusiasts fighting for that one piece of red that catches your (and everyone else's) eye.
  • Companies aren't producing such ornate pieces of glass or bottles for perfumes, dishes, even medicines anymore.  It's just not economical. 
  • Green is good.  People are recycling and being more conscious about not throwing refuse into our waterways and oceans (this isn't a bad thing for the earth and we are 100% for it!)

We want to educate and delight the world with all the wonders of sea glass. We want and need your help and input to make it happen!  

We need your donations of museum quality pieces of glass.

We cannot travel the world over (as much as we would love to ) to get sea glass from every corner of the world.  This would take years and years.  If collectors from around the globe share a small portion of their prized collections with us, we will have a massive collection that will capture the awe and interest of everyone who sees it.

We need your donations of money!

The average museum exhibit costs $250 a square foot to create.  Multiply that by 1,000 to 2,000 square feet and you can see that we need a substantial amount of funding.

We need you to share our dream with your family and friends.

Word of mouth is the best way to drum up support.  We need the excitement to build!  We need to preserve the beauty and historical significance of sea glass before it disappears from the earth!

We need your input.

Let us know what you would like to see in the exhibit.

By the way, we have for you some, as they say in Maine, wicked awesome rewards for donating to our project.  

Please read all of the descriptions and choose one that delights you. After you pick one, please share it with your family friends via email, Facebook, Twitter, or word of mouth.  We have ordered our rewards from local vendors and will have them all in hand when the funds reach our bank account.  We will waste no time when it comes to shipping out all rewards.  We want you to be happy with your experience.  

We will be offering an exclusive stretch reward if we surpass our goal.

If we reach $100k in funding, all backers who have donated $50 or more to our project will also receive a custom made beach combing bag.

Thank you for your time, consideration, and support.  The Sea Glass Center Team! 

A Little More Information About The People Behind the Mission

We are a talented and passionate group of individuals who are bonded by a love of sea glass. We are committed to bringing our unique experience and expertise to the table to create a legacy of love and appreciation for sea glass and all its aspects through this dream we share-- of preserving the pastime that we love and sharing it with the world.

Danielle Perreault, Executive Director

Danielle is a true collector and lover of sea glass.  Her collection is vast and contains some of the rarest pieces of sea glass you will ever see.  She loves sea glass so much that she has made a successful business out of it.  Danielle is President and CEO of The Deep Blue, Inc., a sea glass jewelry and gift shop located in Kennebunk, Maine.  The Deep Blue was opened in 2007.  At the shop you can find hand crafted sea glass jewelry, sea glass art, bottles of sea glass, drilled sea glass, books, calendars, cards, and a beach combing bag designed by Danielle herself. Prior to opening the shop, Danielle has worked as a tax paralegal, practice manager, quality specialist, and project manager.  She is a certified project management professional, certified lead internal auditor of quality systems.  She is also a numbers guru.  With her proven business success and experience, she is a great person to have at the helm of the ship!  She will continue to innovate and seek out new opportunities to continue to grow the organization and further our mission.

Aimee Thorman, Director of Operations

Aimee has searched for and collected sea glass for most of her life!  She has been making art out of what she finds and selling it at festivals or giving it as gifts for almost 20 years--she even puts it in her flower beds!  She is ready to take things to the next level and blend her lifelong passion with her career expertise.  She has worked in the nonprofit sector all of her adult life and is a successful director, manager, marketer, grant writer and fundraiser.  She has experience working at a museum in Cleveland, OH for many years, as well as experience in arts and social service organizations and running special events.  She has specific experience with marketing and fundraising for traveling museum exhibits, securing corporate sponsorships and extensive and successful grant writing experience in this field.  During the course of her fundraising career, she has successfully raised millions from federal and state grant programs, private and corporate foundations, private individuals and special events.  She also has extensive experience in securing major gifts from individual donors.  She will work tirelessly to ensure that donor dollars go to further the mission of the organization and that the organization continues to grow and thrive so more people may benefit from its purpose!  

Other Major Players

We have many other people involved in making this project happen. These people collectively have decades of experience in management, social media, film, photography, advertising (print, radio, television), web development, membership and marketing in a museum setting, research, creation of educational programs, and the list goes on.  We are commercial members of the North American Sea Glass Association and they have representation on our Advisory Board as well.  We are also in talks with several museums and should know before too long where our exhibit launch party will be held!  Stay tuned to our updates for more details!

Did Someone Say Corporate Sponsorship?
Did Someone Say Corporate Sponsorship?

Links To Corporate Documents and Financial Information are below.

You can also find this information directly on our website.  We will operate very transparently.  We will continue to update this information on our website, making full disclosure is important to us.  We understand, as a nonprofit, that the money we will be operating with belongs to the public. We will take care of the funds entrusted to us as we take our fiduciary duties very seriously.

The Sea Glass Center - Balance Sheet as of January, 2014

IRS From 1023, (contains projected budgets and all financial arrangements)

IRS Form SS-4

The Sea Glass Center - Conflict of Interest Policy

Articles of Incorporation issued by the State of Maine

Reward Images

UV Flashlight for $25 Donation (Check your sea glass collection to see if you have any rare pieces that fluoresce.)
UV Flashlight for $25 Donation (Check your sea glass collection to see if you have any rare pieces that fluoresce.)
Rarity Chart for T-Shirt $20 Donation Level and $10 Donation Level (The back of the rarity chart has valuable information on the rarity of sea glass!)
Rarity Chart for T-Shirt $20 Donation Level and $10 Donation Level (The back of the rarity chart has valuable information on the rarity of sea glass!)
Additional T-Shirt Option for $20 Donation Level
Additional T-Shirt Option for $20 Donation Level
              

Risks and challenges

Challenges:

The biggest challenge we will face is time and research. Time to amass a collection and secure funding. No matter how many pieces we gather for the collection it will never be complete, therefore it will be difficult to know when we are done :). Funding also will take time to secure and actually receive.

We want to create an interactive exhibit that engages the public. Coming up with several interactive sections will be challenging. We are up for this challenge.

Corporate sponsorship is a huge undertaking and challenge. Once a corporation, like a cola company, sees that people collect sea glass related to their products, they will want to take the ball and run. The challenge here, is getting an audience with these large corporations.

People always underestimate time and money when completing projects. We feel we've been very thorough in our research thus far with regard to how long we need to create this exhibit and how much money we will need to do so. Unexpected things may come up along the way. With our career experience, we are used to that. You have to roll with the punches, so to speak, and come up with solutions to any problems that arise. We are quick on our feet and are very industrious--we feel confident we can handle any bumps in the road calmly and successfully!

We are in this for the long haul! We have invested our own dollars, time and collections toward this cause. We are determined to make the Sea Glass Center a success! Please join us in making this happen. We need and want your input and support!

Project Time Line

We think launching this exhibit by 2016 is a realistic goal. We feel no urgency to get it done sooner as museums book their exhibits several years in advance. We won't have a host for this exhibit until 2016 at the earliest. Listed below are key milestones we are aiming to hit. We will be constantly fundraising, growing our collection, making connections, and building public awareness.

Early 2014 - Generate public awareness of our cause. Fulfill all the rewards promised here.

Mid 2014 - Prepare and file grant applications for additional funding. Set up meetings with potential sponsor and hosts.

Late 2014 - Research, research, research, add to the collection and research some more!

Early 2015 - Partner with world class design firm specializing in museum exhibits and create scaled models of sections of the exhibit.

Mid 2015 - Produce a full scale model of the exhibit and all of its components.

Late 2015 - Begin actual construction of the exhibit.

Mid 2016 - Finalize construction of the exhibit. Release the exhibit schedule to the public.

Late 2016 - Launch the exhibit to the public, including the launch party. It will be Epic!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    One dollar from you and one dollar from a person who sees this and gives when you share this on Facebook will help us reach our goal of creating a traveling sea glass museum exhibit. It's less than a cup of coffee for you and it's a world of support for this great cause. Please give and please encourage your friends and family to give!

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    Pledge $3 or more About $3

    You love sea glass just as much as we do and would like to see it preserved for generations to come. For this pledge, we will email you a link to download our marble image, as seen in the video, for use as a screen saver on your favorite device. The image is perfectly sized and ready to go. You'll receive our undying gratitude as well as a tweet acknowledging your support! We will keep you updated on the status of our project.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    This is my favorite reward. Have your piece of sea glass (or pottery or other special find) part of the permanent exhibit! Send us your piece of glass and we will use it in the sea glass exhibit. If your piece is so special that it should be singled out, we will give you name recognition in the exhibit and 2 tickets to our launch party! We will also photograph your piece and post it on our website and social media giving you props. We will let you know if your piece is chosen to be singled out by March 31, 2014 via email, as well as through our website. We will keep you updated on the status of our project. Limit 2 submissions per $5 pledge.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    We will mail you a beautifully printed Sea Glass Rarity Chart and thank you personally on our Facebook page. We will keep you updated on the status of our project.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Everyone needs another T-shirt. We will send you a cotton T-shirt of your choosing. We have two options; our globe logo on the front pocket area, or our Rarity Chart image centered on the front. We will thank you personally on our Facebook page and keep you updated on the status of our project.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Have you wondered if your sea glass collection includes pieces of radioactive sea glass? Wonder no more folks. You will receive an exclusive Sea Glass Center UV flashlight! With this nifty flashlight you will be able to detect whether any pieces in your collection appear to glow in the dark (they actually fluoresce but I will save these facts for the exhibit). We will thank you personally on our Facebook page and keep you updated on the status of our project.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    This is for all you crafters and jewelers out there. We will drill a hole in 20 pieces of your sea glass. Simply mail us your glass. We will drill it and mail it back. We will start fulfilling this reward in March on a first come, first served basis. There are some restrictions on what we will drill but we will fill you in on all the details when the time comes. In the meantime, feel free to ask any questions you may have. We will personally thank you on our Facebook page and keep you updated on the status of our project.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Have you ever wondered where or what your favorite piece of sea glass came from? With this pledge we will attempt to uncover all the facts about your mystery piece. We can do this via web images or through the mail. If you have to mail your piece to us for identification, we promise to take good care of it and get it back to you safe and sound. We will work long and hard to accurately identify each and every piece. It is research we have already started and will continue to do for the exhibit. We will post pictures of the pieces on our website with all the facts we uncover. We will also keep you updated on the status of our project. Limit of one piece per pledge amount. We will begin to identify pieces in April, 2014 on a first come, first served basis.

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    You are the best! You share our dream of preserving a world-class sea glass exhibit for our children and our children's children to explore and enjoy. For your generous pledge, you (and your plus one) will be honored guests at our exclusive exhibit launch party. We will send you two tickets to this historical event where you will receive a special gift and be the first to see the exhibit. Your name will be etched in stone (possibly wood or metal) and be a permanent part of exhibit. We will keep you updated on the status of our project and you will be privy to information and sneak peeks before the general public.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Come to Southern Maine or North Eastern Ohio for day of sea glass picking with one of the co-founders of The Sea Glass Center. In Maine, spend the day with Danielle. In Ohio, spend the day with Aimee. You will be taken on a sea glass picking excursion. Enjoy lunch with your host where you will be given a special gift and an exclusive look at the project and the progress that has been made. Event will take place on a mutually agreed upon date before 2015.

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    Pledge $3,500 or more About $3,500

    Do you have a sea glass business? Do you fancy yourself an authority on sea glass? Do you see the potential of this project and how you can benefit? Would you like to see your wares in the gift shops of every museum who hosts the exhibit? If you answered yes, you will want to be an Advisory Board Member. This donation will secure your spot for a two year term.

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    Pledge $8,500 or more About $8,500

    Pack your bags because with this pledge you will be taking off to Puerto Rico for a 4 day trip of picking sea glass with the co-founders of The Sea Glass Center. This reward includes airfare, hotel accommodations, airport transfers and much, much, more. Each day you will be taken to a beach to pick sea glass until your heart is content. Meals and snacks of your liking will be provided while out on all excursions. You will receive a special gift and memories to last a lifetime. This reward is for one person and the trip will take place on a mutually agreed upon date before the end of 2015.

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    Pledge $9,500 or more About $9,500

    Are you an aquarium or museum? Perhaps a business or media outlet who would love to be the first to host the exhibit? With this pledge amount you will do just that. We will bring the exhibit to your business or institution and you can help us introduce it to the world. This pledge amount includes the rental fee of the exhibit only for 8 weeks. This pledge amount does NOT include any additional materials or services. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this one-of-a-kind pledge please email us directly as this will contain additional conditions.

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Funding period

- (36 days)