The Old Sturbridge Village Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to extend the contract of museum President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Donahue through 2012, citing his leadership as the driving force behind the museum’s strong gains in attendance, membership, and donations. After Donahue’s arrival in July 2007, OSV reversed years of declining visitation and posted an eight percent increase in attendance and membership in 2008, a trend that is continuing in 2009. Donations to the Village have also doubled in the last two years. Old Sturbridge Village is one of New England’s top tourist attractions, and is a top destination for family vacations.
"Old Sturbridge Village’s gains are even more dramatic because they have come during a period of such economic volatility, when the stock market plunged 34 percent and gas prices hit all-time highs, " said Mike Brockelman, chairman of the OSV board of trustees. "The fact that Jim Donahue has guided the Village to success during such turbulent times is a testament to his vision and leadership. We are deeply gratified that he has accepted the contract extension and will remain at the helm through at least 2012."
Donahue said that even in a down economy people still seek unique and memorable entertainment. "We focus on family fun because people want to do something they will remember forever. Our visitors want to be part of the action — that’s why our hands-on experiences are so popular. Where else can you ride a stagecoach, milk a cow, make pottery, or forge a hook with the blacksmith?
Noting that Old Sturbridge Village is situated within a one hour drive of eight million people, Donahue said more tourists this year are taking advantage of the museum’s offer of a free second-day return visit within 10 days — a value that is especially appreciated during the weak economy. Many others are opting to purchase museum memberships, which allow unlimited repeat visits during the year.
Old Sturbridge Village’s attendance and membership gains are the latest in a series of encouraging developments, which included the best winter attendance in seven years, and a recent special event honoring actress Laura Linney and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and who made his first film about OSV.
Old Sturbridge Village celebrates New England life from 1790-1840 and is open year-round (closed winter Mondays except on holidays). In addition to a full slate of summer activities, OSV event highlights for 2009 include fall Halloween and harvest programs, Thanksgiving, and Christmas by Candlelight. The museum is open seven days a week. Admission: $20; seniors $18; children 3-17, $7; children under 3, free. Each admission includes a free second-day visit within 10 days. OSV is located just off the Massachusetts Turnpike and Routes I-84 and 20 in Sturbridge, Mass. For details: www.osv.org or call 1-800-SEE-1830.
SOURCE: Old Sturbridge Village
Old Sturbridge Village
Ann Lindblad, 508-347-0323 or 508-886-2689 (cell)
Image: Old Sturbridge Village President and CEO Jim Donahue (second from left), recently hosted actress Laura Linney and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns at an OSV event held in their honor. Here they enjoy a spinning demonstration by Village interpreter Jean Contino. The OSV board of directors has extended Donahue’s contract through 2012, citing his leadership as the driving force behind the New England museum’s strong gains in attendance, membership and donations. (Photo: Business Wire)