Sometimes you choose a project but sometimes a project chooses you. This project chose us, demanding that our Chancellor Rev. Donald Lewis-Highcorrell build a community-based Witch/Wiccan Museum, as we were given the opportunity to retrofit and build a new museum. The museum is to be called "World of Witches Museum", and it is located at 57 Wharf St., Salem, Mass.
The need for a museum and information about ancient and modern Witchcraft and Witches is very high and in demand. This project will service and meet that demand with the physicality of a real time museum, and a virtual space so everyone can share with us this amazing story.
We are looking to create a series of exhibits that express the Witch Community, historically and as a modern movement as well. This is something that does not exist currently in this form, and it will be a way to show a different history than what most of us been taught. We want to share what it means to be a Witch in this world, for the good, the bad, and the ugly. We are asking for community sourcing for what we need to show, and this will be an ongoing process. We want this to honor the Witch, past, present and the future.
We have our first full exhibit - the Goddess Isis over the body of Horus. This will be the first substantial Witch figure, and helps begin a journey of the past, present and future of the Witch. This will be a rich and textured exhibit, with a passion for the beauty of the scene with the needed deep symbolism to convey the love of Isis, that continues to this very day.
We will have an exhibit room with Stereotypes. This will have green-skinned witches, as well as Tituba in a cell, to show how stereotypes existed against Witches throughout history. We will have a historical room, with various pieces of our story. This is being worked on with a lot of community generated ideas and donated materials.
The next room/exhibit will be about Witch Hunts, beyond just the Salem Witch Trials, and including the modern Witch Hunts occurring in Africa, Asia and spreading worldwide.
We also plan to have an exhibit about Hoopeston – The Witch School Story, which covers a 7 year media (2003-2009) cultural clash between Hoopeston and Witch School. It will explain why Witch School finally felt compelled to move to Salem.
We also plan this year to convert the maze into a timeline with pictures, images, and dates of events, people and places. This is over 40 feet in length, and we hope to cover as much as possible. This will be community driven. This will tell of our journey.
The Children's Interactive room is something still in the planning stage. We have heard you, and we are looking into that. We are happy to collaborate with individuals with child exhibit experience.
We are committed to creating the best possible experience for people as we can, and share as much as we can of our community, culture and knowledge. I appreciate your pledges to help make this happen for us all right now.
It will take a while, and we plan to build on this, step by step, as funding becomes available.
Our basic request is for $3000 of funding which will allow us to finish some of these exhibits quickly and early in the season, and will begin allowing us to add more after the close of this drive. Our dream funding would be $25,000, as this will allow us to really create these exhibits into substantial and world class displays.
One thing that makes this a bit easier is that we are not building from scratch. We are retrofitting an old haunted house, Dracula’s Castle, into the new museum, and we are working to make that shift very quickly. Once open April 1st, 2010 we will be working continuously to improve, and will have a full grand opening in July. This is where we need your help. We have enough resources to open the museum, but we really need to add some great exhibits. We believe the museum will become self-supporting within our first season, because it has served as a reasonably successful haunt for two years. The biggest cost is creating new exhibits. This is why we are coming to you and asking for your pledges. You can help speed up our process to make the World of Witches Museum into a positive voice for the community.
If we reach $5000 in funding we will add several Digital Frames to the exhibit halls. These frames can hold hundreds of pictures each. These would allow us to expand our space by allowing one picture sized area to show many pictures as needed. We could cover all the Pagan magazine Covers, for example, in just a few frames. At this funding level we could add 10 or more frames throughout the halls.
If we had $10,000 in funding, we could make the entire timeline interactive on a touch screen monitor, and allow a near infinite number of threads. As we add more dates and events, we will be building a even deeper look at the history of the current movement as well as the past. We would then be able to make this available on the web as well. So the exhibit would be automatically updated from the web, and both would represent the community today, tomorrow, and keep straight all our yesterdays.
If we had $12,500, we could add an ancestry program that would check to see if you are related to anyone accused of being a Witch. If it is in your blood, so to speak. It would use a touch screen monitor or we could downgrade it a little and create a pc keyboard system. Once completed, it would allow visitors the ability to check their ancestry for possible witches in their family, and shortly thereafter they will be able to check online at the Museum's Webpage.
The $15,000 level of funding would allow us to take on the special considerations to create a Interactive child exhibit. Due to the need for safety, a higher quality of materials are required, for safety and for legal consideration as well.
If we had $20,000 dollars we could fully set up the research library, and get it available to researchers. We have a 5000 vol. Occult Library, which we plan to make available to researchers, students, and members. We need to have a monitoring system as well as substantial bookshelves and desks. We have had promises of materials, notes, and books from many sources when we can provide secure housing for these collections.
If we had $25,000 dollars we could add several life size figures of prominent Witches. This will allow us to work with sculptors who will donate their time or at most a small stipend. We will be able to give them materials and support needed to create the figures. Under consideration is Gerald Gardner, Sybil Leek, and several more. We could likely make space for as many as a dozen figures, but at this level of financing, we would be able do 2 or 3 figures.
Our Promise of this campaign is that all the pledges will be used exclusively for exhibits, both physical and virtual, and will assure that the quality of exhibits is worthy of your trust. After all, when we began on this path in 2001, we made a lifetime commitment to eduction, and we have done amazing things together. This museum is the next great project, and we are glad you are becoming part of creating this museum for us all.
We will have World of Witches Website up shortly. It will be WorldofWitchesMuseum.com
You can follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/worldofwitches
You can follow Rev. Don's Vlog: http://www.witchschool.com/page/rev-don-lewis-vlog
You can follow progress on Pagans Tonight Internet Radio Show: http://www.paganstonight.com
Also come back to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/WitchSchool/exhibits-for-world-of-witches-museum-in-salem and follow our progress.
- (88 days)