To the editor:
Without Jo (from the Keweenaw National Historical Park) I would not have been inspired to research, interpret and present Annie's story through an exhibit (somewhere); or receive the never before published studio photos of her (from the park archives) to use to paint her portrait.
Without Brian's (from the park) invitation to attend the park's free exhibitors seminar, I may not have been able to persuade the folks at the Coppertown Mining Museum that I could get expert assistance to install an impressive exhibit. Brian also provided professional advice on the display and preservation of artifacts.
Without the existence of the park's archives, an extraordinary treasure in itself with its exceptional preservation facilities, and the assistance of Jeremiah (from the park) to provide research for me at the instant, wading through archival materials would have been curtailed (or not at all?).
Without Kathleen and Valerie's (from the park), expert advice, education and recommendations, the exhibit would likely not be the attention-getting success that it had.
Without Scott (from the park) hearing my request for seed money to launch the exhibit, and then receiving some (as did the other exhibitors), I would not have had the security to move forward with some modest plans in time.
Without the guidance from Tom (from the park), I may not have written the grant application successfully. I was near tears one day(s), and Ellen (from the park) was there for me.
Without the park's advisory council (and the U.S. Dept. of Interior) that issued and provided a grant, I would not have been able to create the professional grade exhibit that it became, to adequately tell Annie's and the labor union's story. Because of that grant, I was able to employ a number of local businesses of their services and products.
The park is here to serve the community, and one of this park's purposes is to assist interested individuals and parties to help unify this historically shattered community. They are not perfect or infallible, (but neither are the residents they serve) but all of them have assisted me in each step of my projects. And now they are not here when I need them again because of this government shutdown.
In my efforts to bring a beautiful, unifying event to Calumet at this year's end, my reliance on the park to give this project the necessary facilitation, has now been removed.
Joanne L. Thomas