Tuesday evening, October 24th, found members, partners and supporters of the Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area in attendance at the 2017 Annual Meeting held at Concord Art in Concord, MA.
The evening began with time to network with new partners and catch up with old friends over refreshments provided by abCatering of Stow, MA. A brief business meeting was called to order by Board President Meg Bagdonas. Director Wyona Lynch-McWhite welcomed Cheryl S. Steele of Steele Solutions to the Board of Directors and introduced the inaugural Advisory Council, a 30-member group that will serve two-year terms, meeting annually.
Executive Director Patrice Todisco presented a short review of the year, exclaiming “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” referring to the uncertainty faced by Heritage Areas in light of Federal budget challenges. Calling attention to the newly minted 2017 Annual Report available to attendees, Todisco highlighted key achievements since the last meeting: an updated website, expanded outreach with bi-monthly E-Newsletters, FaceBook and Instagram posts, Hidden Treasures expansion to a full month, Declaring Independence: Then & Now, and the Thoreau Trail Bicentennial Legacy project which combined drew more than 8,000 people to Freedom’s Way. A special thank you was extended to Minute Man National Historical Park staff Leslie Obleschuk, Chief of Interpretation and Education and Phil Lupsiewicz, Media and Communications for their ongoing partnership and support with the Heritage Area.
The film premiere of Community, produced by Oakfield Productions, presented an exploration of Freedom’s Way’s second interpretive theme: Inventing the New England Community. The first interpretive theme, A Mosaic of Subtle Beauty, was presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting. The evening was capped off with an assortment of desserts and conversation.