As 2022 comes to a close, we reflect on all the generous individuals and organizations that have supported the Basque Museum & Boiseko Ikastola and we would like to send a very sincere “mila esker” – thank you! Our success directly reflects the very generous and passionate donors, members, volunteers, and countless others who have kept us going. We truly would not have made it without you!
This year, we are working to continue funding the Community History Project, led by Patty Miller, in 2023 and beyond. And we need your help!
In 2016, Patty Miller stepped down as Executive Director so that a staff member could be dedicated to the work of collecting oral histories and photographs for the Basque Museum’s archives. There is an urgency to this work in that we are losing immigrant, first, and now second generation Basque-Americans at an alarming rate and an effort to capture stories and to identify individuals in photographs is of utmost importance. Through a generous donation, the Dorothy Bicandi Aldecoa Community History Project was born. Patty, along with several very dedicated volunteers including Toni Berria, Connie Urresti, and John Urresti among others, focused on organizing census records, going through church records, emailing, calling, and visiting with several people to get this project going. Their goal is capture and preserve the unique stories of individuals in the many Basque-American communities in the West through video interviews, photographs, and other incredible documents. Since then, Patty and team members Megan Overgaard, as videographer/photo technician, and Ana Overgaard, as video editor, volunteers, and Museum staff, have worked tirelessly to acquire additional funding, conduct research, interview people, organize data, collect and scan photos, label those photos, give presentations, share final edited interviews, and visit with community members.
Here are some fun facts about the Community History Project since 2016:
And there is still more to be done! The goal for the Community History Project over the coming years is to head to communities that they haven’t worked in yet – Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and a few more communities in Nevada and Washington, among others.
Stories and photographs collected through the project have helped to enrich the Basques in the Military exhibit (2017) and Inner Strength: Portraits of Basque Women’s exhibit (2019). Komunitatea! the Museum’s most recent exhibit, is on display in the main gallery and shares exactly what the Community History Team has been working on – collecting stories, research, artifacts, photographs and more. The hope is to further expand this exhibit and share more personal stories that have been collected over the years. An additional 350 individuals were added to the oral history page on the Museum’s website in 2022…bringing more stories and voices to life and preserving them for future generations.
Funds received from the Year-End Appeal will primarily assist the Community History Project and its effort to preserve, promote, and perpetuate Basque history and culture.
Please consider donating online at basquemuseum.eus/support/donations or by mailing a check to the Basque Museum & Cultural Center.
Again, a very heartfelt thank you for supporting the Basque Museum & Boiseko Ikastola in 2022, and we look forward to a fruitful 2023!