Letter from the Director – March 2012

Dear Friends,

February was a busy time at CMEE! Early in the month, twenty children met to advise the CMEE on the plans for a new active play exhibit. I really appreciated their thoughtful comments. To learn what they recommended, please read below. In February, CMEE also celebrated Chinese New Year and in honor of Valentine’s Day, children at the Museum made over 100 Valentine Cards, which were delivered to the East Hampton Senior Citizens Center. You can see samples of the cards below. In April, CMEE will present Easter and Passover Cards to the Bridgehampton Senior Center as part of their Easter Celebration.

On February 18, CMEE hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate its partnership with Long Island Head Start. As you know, CMEE has hosted a Head Start preschool since September. I was delighted that Assembly Representative Fred Thiele, County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, and the President of Bridgehampton National Bank, Kevin O’Connor could attend. During the ceremony, Legislator Schneiderman pointed out that programs like Head Start are crucial for setting children on the right track academically. Assembly Representative Thiele emphasized that partnerships like the one between CMEE and Long Island Head Start are important for expanding resources for non-profit organizations.

As I listened to their remarks, I realized I hadn’t fully grasped the full effect of the Head Start preschool at CMEE. While I had focused on benefits for the preschoolers learning at the Museum, there is a larger social and economic impact. Because of this partnership, not only are children becoming life-long learners, Head Start can now provide jobs to more teachers, and parents have the ability to earn income during the day rather than look after their children. With the Museum’s focus on educational goals, I think it can be easy to forget that arts organizations like CMEE are important economic drivers in our communities, too. According to the Alliance in the Arts, the arts industry generates almost 200,000 jobs annually in New York State.

I believe when we truly collaborate, both partners reap economic, educational, and operational benefits. If you know of an organization or person in the community that is interested in partnering with CMEE or you are aware of an existing partnership that could be model for the Museum, please let me know!

As always, I welcome your feedback and hope to see you soon at CMEE!

Sincerely,

Stephen Long
Executive Director