**HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! A MESSAGE FROM OUR MUSEUM’S PRESIDENT**

Dear Friends and Supporters of the African American Firefighter Museum,

As the newly appointed President for the African American Firefighter Museum (AAFFM), I want to thank you for consistently supporting the museum. If it was not for your generous donations to the museum we would not be able to continue sharing the important legacy and stories of the African American firefighters, minority firefighters, and women firefighters who have helped to enhance and shape the firefighting industry and protect our communities. Moreover, on behalf of the museum’s board of directors, as well as the old and new Stentorians we want you to know we recognize the value of your commitment.

This year as with previous years we are accomplishing great things. First off, I am happy to report that in 2015, AAFFM received a prestigious Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant. The funds from this grant are going toward conservation and preservation of the museum’s collections. This came about as part of the board’s strategic planning retreat and the subsequent Museum Assessment Program (MAP) we went through in 2014. I commend my predecessor Brent Burton for leading the charge with these initiatives.

If any of you were at our recent open house you may recall that I mentioned that AAFFM has contracted a curator, Lisa Henry, who is actively cataloging our collections. In addition to cataloging the collections Lisa will be making recommendations on how we can conserve and preserve the museum’s artifacts, photography, and other ephemera that make up the legacy, history, and present day contributions of African-American firefighters, minority and women firefighters.

In addition to the current curatorial projects, under the leadership of Senior Curator Jill Moniz, Ph d., AAFFM will be reinventing itself to include renovated exhibition spaces that high-lights a new narrative that will be more engaging and educational for visitors.

Please save-the-date for our newly established signature event, Fire-It-Up BBQ Competition. This event will be at the museum on Saturday, August 13, 2016. This is a collaborative event benefitting both the museum and the FireFamily Foundation. It will be the first event of its kind for both organizations. Please place this on your calendar and come out to the museum to share in the good food and fun. One of our judges will be LAFD Fire Captain Richard Fields. Captain Fields was a winner of Food Network’s “Chopped”.
Again, I want to thank you for your support because I realize that none of this would be possible if it wasn’t for you our friends, family, supporters, and members.

I wish you a safe and merry holiday season.

Kind regards,

David Spence,
President, African American Firefighter Museum