The Three Forks Museum received a $20,000 grant in the fall of 2021. These funds were sourced from U.S. Congress's American Rescue Act funds to the National Endowment for the Arts and at the state level, Kentucky Humanities. We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to apply and receive these grant funds.
The funds were to help the museum recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Closing down the museum and being forced to cancel all our events and fundraisers 2020-2021 and even some actives in in 2022, slowly drained our stored funds as overhead expenses still come due. Insurance, utilities, security system, and more. The ARP funds have been tremendous help to keeping the museum operational and the bills payed. We were able to have a few of our normal events in 2022 and thanks to ARP funds assisting with the overhead expenses, the museum had some funds to host a few events.
The funds also created a few local jobs. The Three Forks Museum operates by a volunteer board but with the ARP funding we were able to hire local contract labor to work on projects that the museum desperately needed accomplished. We went through a historic flood in March 2021 and damages to display cases, documents, and artifacts were caused by 20 inches of flood water in the building. It has taken over a year for the museum to be cleaned and organized in a way to be presentable to the public. The most effort on restoring the building’s contents has been the volunteer work days we have had. Community volunteers glean so much knowledge by hands on actives plus learning from the museum board members who are also present. Another significant stride was the use of ARP funds to hire a museum worker who held regular hours and a few as needed project workers. Having the museum open and a hired worker to continue organizing displays brought life and interest back to the museum which had been closed to the public for over a year. Volunteers and hired helpers accumulated 500 work hours in 2022.
So what's this mean? This means that the ARP grant funds paid the bills and contract labor for 2022 so the museum could survive and grow. Majority of the funds, 48% went to ease the burden of utility cost. 22% of the funds supported labor and contract workers. 16% of the funds was spend on supplies for museum activities. Finally 14% of the funds went toward facility insurance payment cost. The museum is the home of many priceless artifacts and the building itself has an excellent insurance policy and top of the line security system with motion detectors and video capabilities.
One major addition to the museum, which was much needed, was the creation of an outdoor classroom. Through donations, grants, and museum savings, we built a larger outdoor shelter. Completed November 1st, 2022, the idea for the shelter came from the ARP grant. The whole purpose of the funds was to help organizations recover from the effects of COVID. If we had an outdoor shelter large enough during 2020, the year of shutdowns, we wouldn't have to cancel all our events and programs because of COVID. We just would have needed to have a learning space outside in the open air. With ARP grant funds paying for museum overhead and labor, the museum used savings and other grant funds to build the outdoor classroom shelter.
With recovery from the historic flood March 2021 and COVID along with other sickness in our community such as flu, that closed down schools and canceled events, and with the loss of two pillar museum board members, treasurer Mrs. Edna Grace Crabtree, and president Robert ‘Bob’ Smith, our existing board has struggled to keep the museum operational. However, we are in better shape than the museum has ever been in. In November 2022, the museum board elected 4 new officers and we are hopeful for the future of the museum under their leadership, interest, and the amount of energy they have to offer the organization after such a difficult year.
We are looking forward to serving the community through advocacy, preservation, and offering unique museum and humanities based programing experiences into the future.
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
Welcome to the blog page of the Three Forks Historical Center in Beattyville, KY.
Museum Board Members
Want to get involved? Ask the board members how you can volunteer to help the museum.
Everett Lee Marshall
Board Members in loving memory:
Bob Smith 10/30/22
Rhonda Estes 9/20/21
Edna G. Crabtree 2/15/21