2016 Annual Appeal

Share Your Love of Portsmouth History!

Discover Portsmouth Exhibit

Help us continue to tell Portsmouth Stories.

Please consider making a gift to our annual appeal and help us continue to bring History, Arts, and Culture to Portsmouth and the greater Seacoast! Individual contributions are critical and make up 50% of our operating expenses.

What a year! We cannot help but look back on this year with heartfelt gratitude and pride for the tremendous amount of support we have received from the community. The exhibition Illuminating Tarbell attracted record crowds of residents and tourists, garnered national and global media coverage, and motivated many new members to join PHS. The popular Wendy Turner: Island Light exhibition rounded out the summer season, inspiring guests to build a deeper appreciation of the beauty of our rugged coast.

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Each of these shows was accompanied by a dynamic lecture series, books and related merchandise in our Museum shop. Patrons at both exhibitions were impressed at our policy to provide free public access—a cornerstone of our mission to bring history, arts and culture to the greater public. By this year’s end, PHS is on track to welcome 40,000 visitors–a 33% increase over last year.

Education about our past is the key to understanding our future, and the year 2016 saw the expansion of the Society’s informative Historic Walking Tours into a daily program available from Memorial Day to Columbus Day. These tours, which exploded in popularity and growth, were offered in addition to our Historic Preservation Tours organized by the Portsmouth Advocates and the Sankofa Tours run by our own Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail.

In addition, we’ve put a spotlight on our own comprehensive full-year Third Grade Portsmouth History Program, now celebrating its 10th anniversary. We hope to expand this program beyond the Portsmouth schools to the greater Seacoast in the future. And since no education is complete without a good book, in addition to this year’s two exhibition-related catalogues, the Portsmouth Marine Society Press has been hard at work editing a third book by scholar Pat Wall titled Lives of Consequence: Blacks of Early Kittery & Berwick in the Massachusetts Province of Maine (expected 2017). The subject matter of this book complements the popular programming of the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail, which includes the annual Tea Talks series and the widely lauded Black New England Conference.

We’ve seen an even greater focus on the stewardship of our facilities this year— completing much-needed renovations to our beloved John Paul Jones House and also critical upgrades to our gallery and program spaces at Discover Portsmouth. Those spaces have seen even more use in 2016 by non-profits, corporations and individuals as we have watched our Rental Program continue to expand and grow.

Looking forward, Portsmouth Historical Society has ambitious plans for the rest of the season and for the upcoming year. Make sure to come see:

  • What Artists Look Like 2016 (November 4 – December 23, with opening night Friday, November 4, 5-8pm), black and white portraits of over 30 local artists, with examples of their works, by Portsmouth photographer Jay Goldsmith, accompanied by art from each artist.
  • It’s Pastel!, the New Hampshire Pastel Society’s Eighth Annual National Juried Exhibition (October 22 – November 26).
  • 26th Annual Gingerbread House Contest (Friday December 2 – 23) as part of the citywide month-long celebration, Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth. Kickoff Party Friday, December 2, 5-8pm
  • Four Centuries of Portsmouth Furniture—with the New Hampshire Furniture Masters (April 7, 2017- June 18, 2017) and Seacoast Sculpture—with the New Hampshire Potters Guild (July 7, 2017-October 1, 2017)

We would not be able to introduce, interpret, and stimulate the study of Portsmouth history, and provide this level of programming and opportunity to the community without your support.

Please keep us strong and vital as we plan for the future. Your generous donations will allow us to continue to grow our increasingly popular exhibitions, lectures, programs and tours while remaining accessible to all. Share your love of Portsmouth history – make a gift today!

You can donate online now by clicking on the button below, or send your donation to:
Portsmouth Historical Society
P.O. Box 728, Portsmouth, NH 03802

phone 603-436-8433 | email info@portsmouthhistory.org

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Thank you!