President’s Blog – January 2017

Timothy F. Harley


As we begin the New Year we want to Thank all those who have by deed or donation, by word-of mouth or by their own simple actions have helped keep the legacy and the Museum dedicated to James Stewart alive and well here in his hometown of Indiana, Pennsylvania.

We had a busy and positive year in 2016, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the release of “It’s a Wonderful Life” with our own special exhibition dedicated to the film. We were pleased to be able to provide a loan of museum materials to the new “It’s a Wonderful Life” Museum in Seneca Falls, NY—the reputed location used by Capra for the film. We look forward to a long association with this new museum and thank them for sharing the story of a wonderful life.


Just last month the Museum was setting for the start of the Indiana Quota Club’s Holiday House Tour.  Our appreciation and gratitude to the club for choosing the museum for this event. We always welcome local civic and service organizations to utilize our facility. We have come to learn this is a great way to have some local folks who have never visited be surprised by the great and fun resource their community has in the Jimmy Stewart Museum.


As is always the case, the march of time brings changes and we at the museum have been so fortunate with both our paid and our volunteer staffs and the new year has us bidding a Good-bye laden with gratitude to volunteer MaryAnn Soule and staff star Nancy Empfield. We miss you both already! Stellar work study student Stephanie Garret has departed to do her student teaching and we wish her the best.


We thank all those who are sending their donations to our annual Fund Drive. We are also very pleased by the number of orders received for our new DVD production: “Always Remember: Be Nice to People.” This new video-bio produced by the museum in association with long-time Museum friend and supporter, George Rothacker is a perfect tribute to our Hometown Hero Jimmy Stewart. Narrated by Stewart’s daughter, Kelly Harcourt, the film is designed to interface with the museum’s Values Education Programs. Please support the museum and this important mission and order your DVD now.

Friends, we are working hard to secure an appropriate and willing recipient for our 2017 Harvey Award. This event is the museum’s primary fund raising event and a calling card for the Museum and Indiana. Challenges are many in finding a high-profile individual who meets our criteria and is willing to come and spend an evening here in Indiana with us.

In closing, we look forward, as Indiana County’s # 1 Tourist Attraction to working closely with the Indiana Tourist Bureau and Downtown Indiana to promote our great Museum and our Wonderful town!

As ever,

Thanks for listening—