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The History of Solvang, the Heritage of Denmark  
 
IN THE NEWS at the ELVERHØJ MUSEUM
2009 News Archive
News Archive


Thursday February 14
VALLEY WINES & VALENTINES
 
Join us as we celebrate Valentine’s Day with our annual fundraiser, Valley Wines and Valentines. The annual event will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday February 14. Admission is free and the public is welcome.
 
There will be plenty of Valentine’s Day treats, including as a sumptuous cheese board, appetizers, fruit and chocolates. A variety of award-winning local wines will be available for tasting. Music will be provided by “Shes My Band,” with Pamela Harris on pedal harp and Carole Ann Colone on percussion (photo below).

She's My Band

The winners of the Fabulous Valentine raffle will be drawn during the event. Grand Prize is “Cupids Wine Cellar,” a 24 bottle wine collection donated by local vintners. Two lucky First Prize winners will each receive a 12 bottle wine collection.  An abundance of prizes will be awarded, including gift baskets, restaurant gift certificates, jewelry, chocolate, gifts, and more. A small, but select, silent auction will feature a handful of items including special wine magnums, gift certificates and baskets.
 
Raffle tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20 and are available for purchase at Elverhøj. Invitations, which include 5 raffle tickets, will be mailed to members.
 
Proceeds from the event fund Museum programs, exhibits, services, and facilities. For more information or to obtain tickets, phone the Museum at (805) 686-1211.

Click to DownloadDownload the postcard invitation for Valley Wines & Valentines

$1,000 JUROR'S AWARD — CALL FOR ENTRIES

An open call for entries has been announced for a juried art exhibition opening April 18 in the Museum Gallery. Artists age 16 and over are invited to explore the concept of “Lost & Found” through collage and assemblage. Entries may be two- or three-dimensional. A $1,000 jurors award and lesser awards will be presented at the opening reception on April 18.
 
Selections will be made from prints or digital images; the deadline for receipt of entries is 4 pm on Sunday March 15. The links below provide the Prospectus and Rules and and Entry Form. For more information, phone the Museum at (805) 686-1211.

Click to DownloadProspectus and Rules of Entry PDF (or DOC version)
Click to DownloadEntry Form PDF (or DOC version)

Reception January 31
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE EXHIBIT
JANUARY 31 thru APRIL 11

Opening January 31 in the Gallery is “All You Need is Love.” Featured will be work by artists Karen Gearhart-Jensen, Rebecca Gomez, Suzan Hamilton-Todd, and Lindy Kern. This exhibit explores diverse aspects of this vast topic. Each of the four artists has created a visual experience honoring the longing, joy, and suffering that is part of inviting love into our lives.
 
A reception for the artists will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 pm on January 31. The public is invited to view the exhibition and meet the artists. Refreshments will be served and there is no charge for admission.

Love and family relationships that transcend time and space limitations are represented in the work of Gearhart-Jensen. She explores connections between parent and child with nature binding those themes together. Printmaking is combined with collage and photography in pieces that engage the viewer with both visual and emotional power.
 
“Whats Going On,” an ongoing series by Rebecca Gomez, is executed in dry pigment on canvas in one twelve-part work. A related group of images engages nature as a collaborator in multi-media work based on photography. The work represents a kind of looking deep, recognizing an inevitable connectedness in all of creation.
 
Hamilton-Todd finds solace, inspiration, and an unbroken means of communion with her beloved late husband in her series of multi-media works featuring images of hawks. Over time and across cultures, the hawk is a powerful symbolic force, which is reflected in Hamilton-Todd’s energetic, moving, uplifting works.
 
Ceramic artist Lindy Kern bears witness to world conditions with a collection of clay figures created to convey a narrative message. The archetypal figures address both personal and collective responses to the present state of the world. The artist also creates vessels that reflect a love of Earth elements and nature’s landscape.
 
The show will remain on display through April 11, 2009.

NEW SOLVANG ROOM EXHIBIT

The World at War“History,” someone has said, “is the stories we tell ourselves.” In Elverhøj’s Solvang Room, the so-called “Scrapbook on the Wall — a series of large panels of photos and text — tells the stories of Solvang from 1910 to the present. A team of talented people have worked together for many months to assemble this special exhibit.

One of the new history panels is illustrated at right: “Solvang and the World at War.” Original photos, papers, and memorabilia were scanned, digitally restored if necessary, and printed with archival ink on archival paper. Text is also printed on archival paper.
 
Just as with a personal scrapbook, material for these history panels has come from a variety of sources. We have rummaged through Elverhøj’s records to find historical treasures: oral history tapes, family genealogies, old letters, personal reminiscences, the museum’s extensive photo collection, local newspaper clippings, school board records, event programs, souvenirs and memorabilia, published and unpublished histories of Solvang, student theses on Solvang, and more.
 
People have shared their personal photo albums, scrapbooks, and stories with us. Organizations have donated information about themselves. Other museums have generously assisted. A UCSB intern and a Cal State researcher contributed some expertise. Even the Danish embassy got involved and furnished photos of Denmark’s royal family.
 
What you can now see is not a definitive history of Solvang, but rather a series of important vignettes or stories about key milestones. The history panels start with Danish immigration to America, progress through the founding and growth of Solvang, and in a generally chronological way, guide the viewer through stories about local culture, influential people, and events. You can also read about Solvang cowboys, how the automobile came to the Valley, how Solvang reinvented itself, the three visits from Danish Royalty, and learn about “ring riding” and “hitting the cat out of barrel,” among other things.
 
Although this exhibit is still a work in progress, it has been generously supported by The Valley Foundation, The Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, MIS Associates, and Premier Imaging Products.
 
Do come to Elverhøj soon and browse through the scrapbook of your community’s history.

CHEERS FOR VOLUNTEERS

Volunteers at Elverhøj were honored at a festive champagne brunch on December 16. More than 50 people enjoyed a delicious and abundant buffet in the restaurant at the Hadsten House Inn. Ken Johnson, president of the board of directors, welcomed the group who filled the room and enjoyed the warm fire and camaraderie. The tables were festively decorated with a gift of appreciation for each volunteer.

Volunteer dinner
Pictured enjoying the champagne brunch for the volunteers are (left to right) Ruth Plambeck, Inge Jacobsen, Barbara and Bo Pedersen, Wee Woodward and Joan Mitchell.

Executive Director Esther Jacobsen Bates spoke briefly about the value of volunteer time and how their contributions of time, talent and energy make a difference at Elverhøj and in the community. She was joined by Administrative Assistant Kimberly Davis and together they recognized the role and contributions of each volunteer.
 
Honored for their service and involvement were docents, board members, and committee chairpersons. Special awards were presented to retiring docent Grethe Larsen and outgoing board member Pat Roberts.

IN APPRECIATION OF DOCENTS

Docents are an integral part of the museum. We depend on their support and generosity of time to keep our doors open to the public. They are the welcoming faces and informed voices representing the Elverhøj Museum and serve as advocates within the community.

We invite you to join our enthusiastic group of docents. All you need is an interest in and appreciation of Solvang’s history, Danish cultural heritage, and/or art. We ask that you be ready to commit to one or two shifts per month; each shift is three to fours hours. In return, you will interact with interesting people, learn about your community, and have the opportunity to participate in a variety of special outings and events at area institutions.

Please stop by and see our docents in action or call (805) 686-1211 for more information.

Our wonderful 2009 docents:

  • Cherie Alstott
  • Liz Bland
  • Annette Bredall
  • Sonja Cartwright
  • Clarice Christensen
  • Jill Clevenger
  • Joy Deming
  • Beatriz Djernaes
  • Clara Ehrsam
  • Eva Etzel
  • Sandy Gregersen
  • Elisabeth Jacobsen
  • Inge Jacobsen
  • Marie Jaeger
  • Elizabeth Jensen
  • Carol Johnson
  • Marilyn Johnson
  • Alma Lancaster
  • Agnes Larsen
  • Else Lassiter
  • Maggie LePley
  • Mary Mathiasen
  • Kate Nielsen
  • Barbara Pedersen
  • Ruth Plambeck
  • Jean Roed
  • Olive Saunders
  • Edel Schonfeldt
  • Beverly Smith
  • Lois Vind
  • Barbara Weber
  • Wee Woodward

MUSEUM IMPROVEMENTS

Work continues on the building and grounds, with a new office entry stairway and deck nearing completion. Plans are being drawn up for improvements at the front entry. During 2009, we will be working extensively in the back garden, installing artifacts (including the Burchardi Dairy milk bottle) and explanatory signage. Inside, permanent exhibits will be freshened up or revamped to include more artifacts and information.

Workers construct new stairway
Workers place a new support beam for the upstairs office deck. The deck and stair replacement is expected to be completed in February.

ELVERHØJ CHRISTMAS PARTY

Elverhøj celebrated the holiday in festive Danish style at the annual Christmas Party. The museum twinkled with candlelight and the 12 foot Christmas tree, adorned with handmade Danish Christmas ornaments, glowed in the center of the gallery. Guests danced around the tree — a Danish holiday tradition — singing holiday carols. “It was such a fun evening,” said Executive Director Esther Jacobsen Bates. “The music, the fabulous Danish foods, and the festive atmosphere make this annual party a favorite for all ages.”

Santa and Mrs. Claus greeted guests, listening to children’s Christmas wishes and handing out gifts. Bent Mygen played seasonal music on the piano and guitar and the Statom family lead the dancing around the Christmas tree.

More than 40 volunteers worked to make the evening a success, including Marie Jaeger who coordinated a team that prepared 800 delicious Danish open-faced sandwiches. Special thanks to all the volunteers who baked Christmas cookies; Bent Clausen, Gabrielle Robbins and JoAnn Verkler for their specially made sandwich toppings; and to our sponsors — Ingeborg’s Homemade Chocolates, Nielsen’s Market and Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery.

Elverhøj Christmas Party

FUNDS GRANTED

The Elverhøj Museum depends on financial support from memberships, donations and grants. Several organizations have recently awarded grants. Their gifts are a major source of funding for operating support, special projects, and purchases.
 
For the first time, Elverhøj was selected to receive a Montecito Bank & Trust 2008 Community Dividends award. The $5,000 gift recognized the “extraordinary work and significant contribution made to the community’s quality of life.” Executive Director Esther Jacobsen Bates was presented the award at a celebration luncheon at the Montecito Four Seasons Biltmore (photo below).

Montecito Bank fete
Montecito Bank & Trust reps Larry Edwards (back, left) and Linda Johansen (front, center) with Santa Ynez Valley award recipients including Esther Jacobsen Bates (back right).

The Santa Barbara Foundation recently awarded the Museum a general operating support grant in the amount of $7,850. The funds are to be used to assist with the salary for expanded hours of the operations/administrative assistant.
 
A grant of $10,000 from The Wood-Claeyssens Foundation will be used for several purposes including research and printing expenses related to a Solvang History project and for general operating support.

CHALLENGES OF TODAY

Contributed by Ken Johnson, President
Solvang Heritage Associates, Board of Directors for Elverhøj

Last quarter I discussed “Yesterday,” i.e. founding Solvang and implementing the vision of Elverhøj Museum. In this issue I want to highlight some challenges we face “Today,” as the City of Solvang grows and changes, and as we take over both the ownership and maintenance of the museums physical facilities.
 
Challenge of Being Vital Today

In its early days, Solvang built its population base by attracting Danes and other Scandinavians, who came primarily from rural parts of the U.S. and Europe. Today, the population of Solvang is much like any other American city. It is a melting pot of different backgrounds, ethnicities, and nationalities. This presents a challenge to Elverhøj, because we have chosen not only to preserve Solvang’s history and Danish culture, but also to remain a vital focal point in Solvang’s present life.
 
As a result, Elverhøj has widened its interests, activities, and outreach. We hold wonderful art exhibits and lectures featuring local, regional, national and international artists. We celebrate Valentine’s Day and Christmas with parties that welcome the community at large. During Solvang’s Danish Days we hold a Living History Festival for tourists and locals alike. We sponsor an annual “Queen of Arts Show and Sale” open to community artists and crafters. Students from area schools and youth groups tour the Museum regularly, and adults and children from the community enthusiastically take various classes offered by Elverhøj. Our facilities are available for community meetings, as well as the occasional wedding.
 
Challenge of Museum Ownership

When the Brandt-Erichsen family wanted to preserve their Elverhoy House as a museum, they initially donated it to the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Society. Later, the City of Solvang took over the ownership and maintenance of the physical facilities, while the non-profit Solvang Heritage Associates and the Executive Director operated the Museum. This worked well until the City began experiencing budget shortfalls and maintenance began to suffer. After much concern, the Board undertook negotiations with the City, which resulted in the transfer of ownership and maintenance to the Solvang Heritage Associates in June of 2007.
 
A volunteer Buildings and Grounds Committee has been formed to assist the Executive Director with maintenance and improvement projects. It holds monthly work parties that are getting many of the small chores done. Larger needs are being met by outside contractors. Thus far they are being paid with funds from the negotiated settlement with the City. The Board would greatly appreciate more volunteers, particularly from the trades, to help with these chores. Please contact Executive Director Esther Jacobsen Bates or her assistant, Kimberly Davis, if you want to help.
 
Next quarter, you will be hearing about plans for dealing with “Tomorrow.” A quick preview: plans include an Annual Fund Drive, the first in our history, to help with the financial side of maintaining the Museum.

GIVING - PART 2

This series of occasional articles is designed to inform and educate about charitable giving options (see Part 1).
 
The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 is not only noteworthy as a “rescue” plan, but also as a tax relief strategy to investors, especially IRA owners. Under this Act, the IRA Charitable Rollover provision that expired at the end of 2007 has been extended.  IRA owners over 70 and 1/2 years of age are permitted to contribute up to $100,000 directly to charitable organizations from their IRA accounts tax-free until December 31, 2009.
 
The IRA owner, however, is not entitled to take an additional income tax deduction for the charitable gift, and there are several requirements that must be met in order to ensure that the charitable IRA distribution will be excluded from gross income:

  1. The IRA owner must be at least 70 and 1/2 years of age on the day of the transfer to charity.

  2. The donation must be made directly from an IRA (including inherited IRAs).  Other types of retirement plans (i.e. 401(k), profit sharing plans, etc.) do not qualify, although any assets rolled from these types of plans into an IRA would.

  3. The donation must be made directly to the charity.  For example, a check made payable to the IRA owner and subsequently signed over to the charity would not qualify.

  4. The charity must be a public charity. 

  5. A distribution will only qualify if the contribution would normally be able to be deducted in full.  Certain donations such as raffle tickets where only a portion of the amount qualifies for a charitable income tax deduction, would not qualify at all under this special IRA provision.

  6. The donation must be made from assets which would otherwise be considered a taxable distribution. 

IRA owners who are or will be 70 and 1/2 in 2008 and 2009 may wish to seriously consider making a distribution from their IRA to a charity. While IRA Charitable Rollover cannot be used to fund life income gifts such as annuities and trusts, it may be used to honor outstanding pledges to charities. It is truly a unique opportunity to save on taxes while working to meet philanthropic objectives.

DIRECTOR’S NOTES - A NEW YEAR

A new year brings fresh opportunities and new challenges. This is a great time to build on past successes and look forward. We have planned a wide array of programming and exhibits for 2009, with activities and events for youth and adult. Winter classes begin again in February, with courses that include children’s art, Danish cultural workshops, and crafts.
 
Work continues on the building and grounds, with a new office entry stairway and deck nearing completion. Plans are being drawn up for improvements at the front entry. During 2009 we will be working extensively in the back garden, installing exhibits (including the Burchardi Dairy milk bottle) and explanatory signage. Inside, permanent exhibits will be freshened up or revamped to include more artifacts and information.
 
The key elements of our success are volunteers, committees, and membership. Volunteers are involved in all operations and events at Elverhøj. This energized group of more than 65 people contributes time and talent on a regular basis. Committee members guide and assist with education, finance, maintenance of facilities, fundraising, special events, art exhibits, history, the Museum Store, and more. I can not thank them enough for their valuable contributions!
 
Membership dues provide the basis for our annual operating income and are the financial backbone for all programs and services. Each membership makes a difference — especially in this challenging economic climate.
 
I want to extend my gratitude for all your support and invite you to visit and experience Elverhøj’s warm and welcoming vitality.

Esther Jacobsen Bates

Thru July 5
“LOST AND FOUND” ART EXHIBIT

On exhibit in the Museum Gallery is “Lost & Found,” a stimulating group show with multifaceted approaches to collage and assemblage art. The diverse group of 22 jury-selected artists powerfully expresses the concept in their use of materials and mediums as well as subject. 
 
Awards were presented at an energized reception on April 18 attended by a multigenerational group of more than 150 guests. Charlotte Valestra was presented the Jurors Award for “A Leg for a Medal.” The award included a $1,000 cash prize donated by two local arts advocates. Awards of Merit were presented to Julian Harake, Patrick F. McGinnis and Pamela Zwehl-Burke.
 
Exhibiting artists included: Sima Ansari, R. Anthony Askew, Mike Brady, Barbara J. Cornett, Dale Cornwell, Kimberly Davis, Izzy Greer, Gene Inglis-Ward, Robert Jensen, Thomas Larson, Syd McCutcheon, Barbara B. McIntyre, Diane Reuter, Launa D. Romoff, Mary Stanley, Marlene Struss, Susan Tibbles, and Dug Uyesaka.
 
The work shown in this special exhibit was selected by a trio of distinguished jurors from a field of more than 100 entries. “The jurists no doubt found their role challenging given the quality of work and the display space limitations,” said Esther Jacobsen Bates, Executive Director of Elverhøj Museum. “The resulting show is an exhilarating look at a very engaging art form.”

Lost & Found Awards
“Lost & Found” Awards
Pictured (left to right) are Merit Award recipient Patrick McGinnis, Jurors Award winner Charlotte Valestra with her prize-winning piece “Leg For a Medal” (inset on right) and Julian Harake, Award of Merit recipient.

The Jurors:

Rita A. Ferri is Visual Arts Coordinator and Curator of Collections for the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission and has been an arts administrator and award-winning arts educator for over 25 years. Debra McKillop teaches art at Ventura Community College is an artist, graphic designer, gallery manager, and curator. Frances Puccinelli has had an active role in many areas of the arts including juror, gallery owner, curator, organizational volunteer, consultant, retailer and collector.
 
The work will remain on display through July 5, 2009.

ELVERHØJ: FAIRY TALE & PLAY

A few large lizards were running nimbly about in the clefts of an old tree; they could understand one another very well, for they spoke the lizard language. . . .

So begins one of H. C. Andersen’s lesser-known fairy tales, “Elverhøj,” pronounced El-ver-hoy and translated as Elves’ Hill.
 
One evening after dark, Elves’ Hill opened and out came an old elfin maiden who was the housekeeper of the King of the elves. She announced a grand celebration. Two sons of the Old Goblin from Norway had come to marry two daughters of the Elf King in Denmark.
 
The younger son pointed to the Elves’ Hill and said that it looked like a hole in Norway. The Old Goblin reminded his son to take care, for people would think him rude.
 
Both sons entered the Hill, sat down, and put their legs on the table in the Elf King’s hall. The Old Goblin told them to take their legs off the table.
 
Do the Goblins sons marry the Elf Kings daughters?  You must read for yourself. When the cock crowed the old elfin maiden closed the shutters, and then the hill closed.

Elverhøj Play, 1913
“Agnete’s Dream” from 1913 production of Elverhøj
“Agnete’s Dream” from the play Elverhøj is pictured above. The play was performed for the first time in Solvang in 1913 outdoors in Fredensborg Canyon bowl.

A beautifully illustrated English translation of H. C. Andersen’s Fairy Tales is available in the Elverhøj Museum Store.
 
Elverhøj also exists as a play written for the wedding of Frederik Carl Christian (later Frederik VII) to Vilhelmina Marie on November 6, 1828. Johan Ludvig Heiberg wrote the script based on national folk melodies. Friedrich Kuhlau wrote the music, also drawing on Danish Folk music.  The play — romantic, nationalist, and highly entertaining — became the popular signature of the Royal Danish Theater. Although the plots of the play and the fairy tale are different, the Elves’ Hill and the Elf King appear in both.
 
Contributed by Kenneth Harwood

VALLEY WINES & VALENTINES A SUCCESS

Valley Wines and ValentinesThank you to all who supported and attended Valley Wines & Valentines. The annual winter FUNraiser, held on February 14, was a tremendous success, bringing in a record amount of proceeds. More than 300 guests filled the Museum rooms to overflow, enjoying the convivial atmosphere, wine tasting and food.
 
Guests lined up for the delicious food prepared by volunteers Sandy Gregersen and Carol Johnson (pictured at right). Docents and board members greeted guests and assisted at the event. Elverhøj wine glasses were lifted as guests sampled local wines and toasted friends. The musical duo She’s My Band, with Carole Ann Colone on percussion and Pamela Harris on pedal harp, provided music for the lively crowd.
 
Flowers and candlelight provided an elegant ambiance for the evening’s festivities. The gallery exhibition “All You Need Is Love,” surrounded guests with a visual experience honoring the longing, joy, and suffering that is part of inviting love into our lives.
 
“What an incredible turnout!” said Executive Director Esther Jacobsen Bates. “The event exceeded our goals. Thank you to our sponsors and guests who contributed such a successful evening. We are already planning for next year’s event.”
 
The festivities concluded with pulling the winning tickets in the Fabulous Valentine’s Drawing. First place winners Elizabeth Farnum and Marion Nielsen each won a 12 bottle wine collection. The grand prize — Cupid’s Wine Cellar, a 24-bottle wine collection — was won by David Pick. Twelve guests also took home prize packages won in the silent auction.

“Valentines” winner
Pictured, left, at the Valentines event is David Pick, grand prize winner of the Fabulous Valentines Drawing. Winning 24 bottles of wine makes for lots of smiles! Sharing in the fun are Executive Director Esther Jacobsen Bates and Ken Johnson, president of Elverhøj’s board of directors.

Valley Wines and Valentines would not be possible without the support and contributions of many generous donors, listed below.

Valentine vintners:

  • Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards
  • Artiste Winery
  • Arthur Earl Winery
  • Brander Vineyard
  • Bridlewood Winery
  • Buttonwood Farm Winery
  • Curtis Winery
  • Daniel Gehrs Wines
  • Firestone Vineyard
  • Foxen Vineyard
  • Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards
  • Olive House & J McFeeley Wines
  • Presidio Winery
  • Sunstone Vineyards & Winery
  • Tastes of the Valleys
Auction and drawing prize donations:
  • Backdoor Boardshop
  • Bit O’ Denmark
  • Book Loft
  • Elna’s Dress Shop
  • Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
  • Gaveaesken
  • Graphic Systems
  • Home Connection
  • Ingeborg’s Homemade Chocolates
  • Johnson’s Jewel Box
  • Mirabelle Inn & Restaurant
  • New Frontiers
  • Rancho Olivos
  • Royal Copenhagen Shop
  • Santa Ynez Valley Hardware
  • Solvang Bakery
  • Trattoria Grappolo
  • Valley Oaks Bank
  • Vineyard House
  • Vinhus
  • Z Folio Gallery

Donations of food:   

  • Ingeborg’s Homemade Chocolates
  • Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery
  • Solvang Bakery

ELVERHØJ INVITES YOU TO BECOME A DOCENT

The word docent comes from the Latin verb docere, meaning “to teach, conduct, lead into, take care of, learn.” The Elverhøj Museum of History and Ar’ts 35 active docents do all of that and more, every single day the Museum is open.
 
For nearly 15,000 visitors each year, docents are the Museum’s welcoming face and informed voice. We invite you to join this special group. All you need is an interest in and appreciation of Solvang’s history, Danish cultural heritage and/or art.

Fire Drill
Monthly meetings of the docent volunteers often include educational opportunities. Recent topics have included recycling and waste management with guest speaker Russ Hicks, and fire safety and emergency preparedness with presentations by the Solvang Fire Department firefighters. Shown is docent Elizabeth Jensen practicing with a fire extinguisher in the Museum driveway.

We ask that you be ready to commit to one or two shifts per month; each shift is three to four hours. In return, you will meet a great group of volunteers and visitors, learn about your community, and have the opportunity to participate in a variety of special outings and events at area institutions.
 
Please stop by and see our docents in action or call (805) 686-1211 for more information.

CHALLENGES OF TOMORROW

Ken JohnsonContributed by Ken Johnson, President
Solvang Heritage Associates,
Board of Directors for Elverhøj

Last quarter I discussed the Challenges of Today. Now I would like to highlight the challenges the Board expects Elverhøj to face tomorrow and how we hope to meet them.

Among the challenges will be:

  • Preserving the past history of Solvang
  • Recording its future growth and change
  • Coping with changing population demographics
  • Keeping Elverhøj a vital part the community
  • Maintaining museum structures and property
  • Planning for the future.

Financial Requirements

Meeting the challenges of “Tomorrow” requires adequate funding. The Board is currently considering how best to meet such requirements. We have divided our funding needs into two parts. The first is meeting ongoing operational costs (for example, facility maintenance, museum events and exhibits, personnel, etc.). The second is maintaining and growing an endowment fund for stable, long-range financial support.
 
Annual Fund Raising

Unlike other museums, Elverhøj has not conducted an annual fund raising appeal. But now we must. The Board has concluded that we will have both an Annual Appeal by mail plus an outstanding social event dedicated to raising funds. The mail appeal will go out soon and the event is in the planning stage.
 
Endowment for Tomorrow

The second part of our funding program will be an Endowment Campaign to supplement the existing Endowment Fund. The program should be fully formulated in a year or so — in time for the upcoming Centennial of Solvang in 2011 and the 25th Anniversary of Elverhøj in 2013.  If we are successful, the Endowment Campaign will do much to ensure the Museum’s operation in the future.
 
The Board of Directors is enthusiastically behind the plans for Elverhøj’s “Tomorrow.” We hope that you will join the Board and our wonderful network of volunteers in being deeply involved in our funding efforts!

DIRECTOR’S NOTES - SPRING

Esther Jacobsen BatesMay is California Museum Month, which is an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the important role museums play in communities such as ours. During these difficult economic times, museums can provide unique and affordable experiences that open up our minds, expose us to new information and ideas, and spark creativity and curiosity.
 
The museums in our community offer engaging, affordable, and educational opportunities for families, adults, and schools. Each Saturday in May, Elverhøj is abuzz with activity as children enjoy art experiences that are part of our “May Mornings at the Museum” class series. Classes and lectures for adults are offered on a regular basis and school groups tour the Museum’s exhibits to learn about local history and culture.
 
We can all benefit from exposing ourselves to fresh and unique experiences. The current art exhibition, “Lost & Found,” is a stimulating presentation of collage and assemblage work. Awards were presented to four of the jury-selected artists whose work is on exhibit. The recipients include one high school student and two retired and accomplished art instructors.
 
I personally invite you and your family to visit Elverhøj. You can experience first-hand how museums nourish minds and spirits by fostering contemplation, exploration, and dialogue.
 
By stepping away from the television, the computer, and your chores for part of the day and visiting a museum, you can create a memorable experience that transcends our daily concerns. I hope to see you at Elverhøj soon!

Esther Jacobsen Bates

GIVING - PART 3

This series of occasional articles is designed to inform and educate about charitable giving options (see Part 2).
 
The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 is not only noteworthy as a “rescue” plan, but also as a tax relief strategy to investors, especially IRA owners. Under this Act, the IRA Charitable Rollover provision that expired at the end of 2007 has been extended.  IRA owners over 70 and 1/2 years of age are permitted to contribute up to $100,000 directly to charitable organizations from their IRA accounts tax-free until December 31, 2009.
 
The IRA owner, however, is not entitled to take an additional income tax deduction for the charitable gift, and there are several requirements that must be met in order to ensure that the charitable IRA distribution will be excluded from gross income:

  1. The IRA owner must be at least 70 and 1/2 years of age on the day of the transfer to charity.

  2. The donation must be made directly from an IRA (including inherited IRAs).  Other types of retirement plans (i.e. 401(k), profit sharing plans, etc.) do not qualify, although any assets rolled from these types of plans into an IRA would.

  3. The donation must be made directly to the charity.  For example, a check made payable to the IRA owner and subsequently signed over to the charity would not qualify.

  4. The charity must be a public charity. 

  5. A distribution will only qualify if the contribution would normally be able to be deducted in full.  Certain donations such as raffle tickets where only a portion of the amount qualifies for a charitable income tax deduction, would not qualify at all under this special IRA provision.

  6. The donation must be made from assets which would otherwise be considered a taxable distribution. 

IRA owners who are or will be 70 and 1/2 in 2008 and 2009 may wish to seriously consider making a distribution from their IRA to a charity. While IRA Charitable Rollover cannot be used to fund life income gifts such as annuities and trusts, it may be used to honor outstanding pledges to charities. It is truly a unique opportunity to save on taxes while working to meet philanthropic objectives.

LIVING HISTORY FESTIVAL SEPTEMBER 19 & 20

Brit Hale, Living History FestivalStep back into the old world culture of Denmark during the Living History Festival at Elverhøj Museum of History and Art. Held annually in conjunction with Solvang’s Danish Days, the 2009 festival will take place on Saturday and Sunday, September 19 and 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Volunteers in handmade Danish costumes demonstrate a variety of Old World craft and folk arts, fiber arts, and more. Enjoyable and educational activities are planned for all ages. Admission is free.
 
Exhibits come to life as volunteers demonstrate spinning and weaving in the museums Immigration-Era Room which showcases pre-industrial Danish artifacts. Scandinavian fiber arts such as Viking knitting, card weaving, Hardanger Renaissance lace making, and Nolbinding will be demonstrated in the Museum’s main room and gallery. Bobbin lace makers will create samples of their exacting and intricate work, even offering guests an opportunity to try their hand at this centuries old art.

Marzulla paper cuttingTraditional Danish crafts, including Christmas decorations such as woven paper hearts and paper stars, will be constructed by volunteers who will give samples to visitors. Rick James Marzullo will demonstrate Papirklip, the popular Danish folk art of paper cutting. His amazing ability to create intricate designs with materials as simple as paper and scissors has earned him national recognition. 
 
Demonstrations under the trellis in the museum garden will feature stone carving and woodcarving using a variety of hand tools and techniques. These skills were practiced by many early peoples, including the Vikings. You can even try your hand at creating a small stone carving. 

Docent-led tours of the museum’s historical, cultural and art exhibits will be available throughout the weekend. Bring the family during this special free weekend event and enjoy a journey back in time.

LIVING HISTORY FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

Demonstrations and interactive activities throughout the weekend:
Scandinavian Christmas crafts
Bobbin Lacemaking
Docent led tours
Childrens “I Spy” activities
Various Old World fiber arts
 
Hardanger and Nolbinding, Sunday, 1 to 4 pm
Papirklip, Saturday, 1 to 2 pm and Sunday 11 am to noon
Spinners, Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 1 pm
Stone carving and Lost Wax demonstrations, Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm
Wood carving demonstrations and activities, Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm

NEW DVD CHRONICLES SOLVANG HISTORY

Danes are curious people. When they immigrated to America they often kept in touch with each other. When a group of Danes found a good place to farm and live they told others to come join them. Such a place is Solvang, California. . . .

Solvang DVDSo begins a newly-produced DVD now screening in Elverhøj’s Solvang Room and available in the Museum Store for $15. Entitled Solvang, Danish Colony in California, it tells the fascinating history of a little town that grew into an internationally-known tourist destination.
 
Personal interviews bring to life the pioneering Danish families that made Solvang flourish. These early settlers had a great capacity for work, but also for enjoyment. When times were tough they persevered and helped one another. They came to love their new home, but always treasured their Danish background. Priceless old photographs and more contemporary images supplement their rich oral history.
 
June Christensen, Elverhøj board member, was the executive producer and researcher on this project. People interviewed include: Elise Lindegaard Bates, Thor Brandt-Erichsen, Harlan Burchardi, Elisa Larsen Duus, Erik Gregersen, Leona Ibsen, Regina Iversen, Ivo Nedegaard Jacobsen, Marie Tarnow Jaeger, Florence (Flossie) Jensen, Eiler Johansen, Anker Johnson, Monica Fauerso Kramer, Elna Larsen, Daryl Nielsen, Donald Nielsen, Kathryn Iversen Nielsen, Roger Nielsen, Edna Paaske, Abeline Jensen Petersen, Robert Petersen, William Petersen, Else Jensen Statom, Marian Johnson Walker, Gerda Svendsen Willis, Lucille Wulff, and Viggo Richard Wulff.
 
An informative narration by videographer Bent Myggen sets these interviews in context. Myggen also did camera work, editing and production. Funding for the DVD project came from the Santa Barbara Foundation, The Valley Foundation, and private donors.
 
To order the Solvang, Danish Colony in California DVD for $15, email info@elverhoj.org or call the Museum at 805-686-1211. This will be a keepsake to treasure and an imaginative gift for family and friends.

October 17 dinner
SUNDOWNER AT ELVERHØJ

Zebra, by Susan JørgensenOn Saturday, October 17, at 6 pm, Elverhøj embarks on an evening of fun, fine food, and entertainment. Called “Sundowner at Elverhøj,” the event has an African Safari theme, derived from the stunning exhibit in the Museum Gallery, Out of Africa: Recent Photography by Susan Jørgensen (September 12 - November 1).
 
Safaris in Africa come to a halt at sunset during a time called “sundowner” when travelers relax with food and refreshment. And that is what the Sundowner at Elverhøj is all about.
 
Appetizers and drinks will be served in the Museum Gallery where Jørgensens images will provide the perfect context. A delicious meal will be prepared and served by New West Catering, well known for its appealing menu based on fresh local food and its elegant presentation. Musical entertainment will be followed by a live auction of five luxury-class packages. Elverhøj will be transformed to an Out of Africa environment and our Sundowner guests will be pampered. Event proceeds will benefit the Museum and its activities.
 
Tickets for the evening are $100 per person. Three Patron Tables for 8 guests are available for $1,000; these include unique gifts, a signed commemorative poster by Jørgensen and premium seating. Expect your Sundowner invitation in the mail soon. Seating is limited to 100.
 
The theme of Safari resonates at Elverhøj these days. The Jørgensen exhibit in the Museum Gallery is based on the photographer’s recent safaris in Tanzania, Botswana, and Namibia. In addition, Elverhøj, in its role as a museum, is always on exploratory trips through history and art. And now it is embarking a new journey, to raise funds to ensure the Museum’s stability and long-term sustainability.
 
For more information, to order tickets, or inquire about sponsorship opportunities, please phone the Museum at (805) 686-1211.

October 24
“WILD TALES” SATURDAY

Out of AfricaThe closing of the exhibition, Out of Africa, is like the end of a safari with a time to gather around the campfire and share stories. The Elverhøj Museum and photographer Susan Jørgensen will host “Wild Tales” on Saturday October 24. Stories begin at 4 pm. Some will be tales from her safaris and some will be reflections on her involvement with the land and with animals. The signs and metaphors from Nature have guided much of her work and her life’s outlook. Some stories have nurtured artwork; some are simply stories that have provided markers on life’s journey.
 
As a kid, Susan Jørgensen would try to get to the mailbox first when Outdoor Life and Field & Stream arrived at the house. She opened the magazines looking in particular to a one-page expose called It Happened to Me. This was a boxed feature with drawings and words of some real life, wildlife tale like being chased up a tree by a Grizzly bear or getting caught in quicksand or a whirlpool. She read them with great interest, knowing it might be helpful for possible encounters and experiences. Even as a kid, she wanted to be prepared and loved/respected the interface with nature.
 
Along with a small circle of friends, including writer Dan Gerber, Jørgensen will share her stories. Gerber also lives in the Santa Ynez Valley and finds inspiration in Nature. Both he and Jørgensen share roots in the Midwest, a fondness for foxes, travels to Africa, and a love of fly-fishing.
 
The public is welcome to listen and to share. There is no charge for admission.

November 6, 7, 8
“QUEEN OF ARTS” SHOW & SALE

Queen of ArtsMark your calendars for the return of the popular Queen of Arts Show and Sale, November 6-8. The eleventh annual event begins with a lively opening reception and sale on Friday November 6 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. Guests can enjoy wine and appetizers while shopping and meeting more than 25 California artists and crafts people showing their original, handmade work. The show and sale continues Saturday November 7 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, and Sunday November 8 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. There is no charge for admission.
 
From unique folk crafts to fine art, there is a wide range of prices and tastes. Stone carving, glass work, ethnic art, tiles, collage, mixed media work, and paintings will be available. Jewelry artists creatively use vintage and contemporary beads, resin, and crystal with cold connection or torch construction. Pit-fired, hand-built, or thrown pottery work will be for sale, as well as original garden art handcrafted from steel, stone, and wood. Striking fashion or home décor accessories are offered by fiber artists. They incorporate hand painted fabric, antique kimonos, and/or felted fabric. Choose from a wonderful selection of handmade holiday ornaments and decorations to brighten your home.
 
VICTOR BORGE DISPLAY

This year marks the centennial of the birth of accomplished world-famous Danish entertainer Victor Borge. A kiosk is traveling the country to celebrate the life of this great entertainer, a humorist and world-class pianist. Known as the “Great Dane” and the “Clown Prince of Denmark,” Borge was grand marshal for Solvang’s Danish Days parade in the 1960s.
 
The kiosk, which has images and video from both his personal life and his illustrious career, will be set up in the offices of the Santa Ynez Valley Visitors Association at 1511 Mission Drive, corner of Mission and Fifth. Sponsored by the Solvang chapter of Rebild National Park Society, Santa Ynez Valley Visitors Association, and Elverhøj Museum of History and Art, the display will be open Friday through Sunday, September 18-20 from 10 am to 4 pm daily.

DIRECTOR’S NOTES - YEAR’S END

Esther Jacobsen BatesThe last twelve months have brought record numbers of visitors to Elverhøj despite the struggling economy. Now, more than ever, people value meaningful experiences, especially those that are low in cost and high in value. Museums feed the soul while keeping spirits up, and are places of reassurance amidst the uncertainty of the times.
 
I am frequently asked how the economy is impacting Elverhøj. Like all of us, Elverhøj has seen a downturn in revenue. Budgets have been tightened and yet we are serving increasing numbers of visitors. We are keenly aware of the current economic challenges and the need for a healthy mix of revenue for sustainability.
 
We take pride in Elverhøj’s highly disciplined financial management. We run a lean organization and rely on our team of wonderful volunteers to help out with all areas of operations. We are proud of our expanded educational services, renovated historical exhibits, and invigorating art shows and events. Careful budgeting and oversight has allowed us to continue the maintenance and restoration of buildings and grounds that we started when we assumed ownership in 2007.
 
As we plan for the year ahead, and also consider the long-term sustainability of Elverhøj, it is clear we must diversify our financial base. Revenue from memberships, programs and foundations has declined. The Board joins me in recognizing the need for a comprehensive financial plan to ensure that Elverhøj is stable, strong and vital in the future.
 
We are extremely grateful to you, our members and supporters, for the inspiration, dedication and vision you provide. Recently you received an appeal from our Board for operating support. And shortly you will be receiving an invitation to our first Sundowner at Elverhøj — an evening of fine food, fun, and entertainment inspired by the “Out of Africa” photography exhibit. I ask that you affirm the value of Elverhøj to you and the community by responding to this appeal and/or attending the Sundownerdinner.
 
I invite you to visit Elverhøj and enjoy our many programs, displays and activities. Your support is very much needed and appreciated!

Esther Jacobsen Bates

LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES AT ELVERHØJ
By Adria M. Griggs
 
Elverhøj is a joy for tourists of all ages. Many people travel from across the country and even the world to visit the Museum. Yet, only a limited number of our local children have seen Elverhøj and experienced all it has to offer.
 
We would like the local schools to use Elverhøj to their benefit; we enjoy educating children and working with teachers. Classroom teachers, however, must have reasons to bring their classes on field trips and must get them approved. Here at Elverhøj, where education is a priority, we are making it easier for teachers to get field trip approval. Elverhøj educational activities will be geared to each grade (kindergarten through eighth) and its specific educational standards. That will help us to be on the list of annual field trips taken by local school classes.

In years past, Elverhøj had teaching professionals carefully develop standards-based curricula for third and tenth grades. Now, the Museum has expanded this idea to include more grades. We possess the historical information and artifacts necessary to meet many different California Content Standards for various grades. Our goal is to have information and educational activities ready for grades kindergarten through eighth.

The standards-based curricula developed for local schools also benefit children visiting Elverhøj with their families. When they arrive, educational activities designed specifically for children are offered to them.
 
We hope that additions to our educational material will bring more families with children and more class field trips. Elverhøj is committed to the continued improvement of all of its educational programs.

Adria M. Griggs, born and raised in Santa Ynez, is now a credentialed teacher working in local schools and at the Elverhøj Museum as interim operations assistant.

 
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