President’s Blog: January 2016


Dear Friends of The Jimmy Stewart Museum,

We begin our 21st year of operation as we celebrate the 70th Anniversary year of the release of perhaps Mr. Stewart’s most widely known film: “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Two great milestones that both attest to the continued interest and rediscovery of the life of James Maitland Stewart. The anniversaries of Stewart’s films in 2016 are not limited to Wonderful Life. Seven films mark their 80th release date anniversary. It’s somewhat hard to imagine that over 80 years ago, James Stewart was already starring in films that have stood the test of time and have become in many ways, parts of our national vocabulary. When our thoughts turn to the Christmas Holidays, for many, they would be incomplete without an annual family ritual of watching “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  When we think of our contemporary political climate and the divisiveness that stymies our political process, we think of Jefferson Smith in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” To become part and parcel of our American scene as Stewart has done means something important. He, James Stewart the man and Jimmy Stewart the actor have something that we want to hold on to, to cherish.

As we begin the new year here at the museum, we are looking forward to additional opportunities to share with all, the meaningful lessons that can be gleaned from Elwood Dowd, Jefferson Smith, George Bailey, and from James Stewart.

Be sure to come in and see our fantastic exhibit of paintings by museum friend, George Rothacker: The Music and Movies of Hollywood, available until June 2016.

Concerning practical matters, restroom reconstruction at the museum has been completed and we thank the Borough of Indiana for providing such beautiful and accommodating upgrades to the Community Center Building.  We anticipate some additions and upgrades to the museum and will keep you posted on those.

We also start our year without the services of staff member, Nancy Empfield. Nancy has been with us for over seven years and won the hearts of all she came in contact with. For me, Nancy has been so much more than an invaluable assistant, she has been a friend and example to me, and we will all miss her being here. Thank you Nancy!

We are getting ready for another round of Project Grant applications later in the year, and are thrilled with what our first year of grants has produced.

Folks, we ask you to partner with us for another year. Visit the museum. Tell your friends to visit. Look at our fantastic Face Book page. By whatever means you can, help us to continue and expand the work of the Jimmy Stewart Museum.

As always,

Thanks for listening,