Signs of the Times - August 2013 - (Page 40)

SIGN MUSEUM NEWS Tod Swormstedt is the president/founder of the American Sign Museum (Cincinnati). By Tod Swormstedt First Anniversary Celebration Attracts 600 How can you support your museum? Sunday,opening of the museum’s anniversary of the June 23 marked the first full-time new home, so it was time to throw a party. In typical museum fashion, the four-hour celebration was an All-American family event with free popcorn, hot dogs and soda for more than 600. Local favorite Jake Speed and the Freddies entertained the crowd by strolling throughout the museum with its signature bluegrass-folk tunes. Thanks to local media – the Cincinnati Enquirer, Fox 19 TV and WNKU FM public radio – as well as social media, members, return visitors and first-timers all shared in the festivities. The party also offered the opportunity to plug the museum’s Adopt-A-Sign program: Five different signs that need various levels of restoration were rolled out, front-and-center, with plaques reading, “Adopt Me.” Two other unrestored signs already on display – “Colonial Dairy” from California and “Big Bear” from Columbus, OH – were singled-out for “adopt me” opportunities. 40 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / AUGUST 2013 / The party was largely planned and coordinated by Business Manager Brad Huberman, with the assistance of staffers Terri Ballman, Sarah Gagnon, Niki Cianciola and Diane Teixeira. Barbara Marrow led the social-media promotional efforts; a host of volunteers manned the front desk and food and beverage stands. The new home increased the museum’s size from 4,500 sq. ft. of rented space to nearly 20,000 sq. ft. in a museum-owned building. The formal hours likewise expanded from only Saturdays (other times by appointment) to five days a week, with all the accompanying overhead. Despite building ownership (thanks in large part to the generosity of the Weinel family and Gemini, Inc.), the inherent costs of ownership have increased significantly. Fortunately, visitor numbers have exceeded expectations this past year. More than 9,100 have toured the museum, an average of more than 760 per month. Events – ranging from business luncheons to wedding receptions, and holiday parties to two-day conferences – have added an estimated 7,500 additional visitors, or more than 16,000 total visitors in our first year. Income from more than 60 individual events significantly offsets operational costs. The positive traffic counts should increase as the museum continues to gather favorable publicity: local, regional and national. The Antique Roadshow even presented a four-minute segment in April. The museum has also been featured on at least three regionally broadcast PBS shows, and it enjoys a growing presence on travel-related blogs and websites such as www. The museum’s visual excitement is a constant source of Facebook, Twitter, etc. postings by those who tour the museum. The museum’s increasing public-outreach efforts are anchored by the CoSign project completed for the local Northside community. CoSign matched professional sign fabricators with artists and business owners to create 11 new signs for a five-block-long business corridor. In June, the museum learned its application for a national ArtPlace grant was approved, so CoSign will return to Northside this year, and expand to Covington, KY in 2014. A “toolkit” that outlines the CoSign process will be created to serve as a template nationwide. Although progress has been tremendous, and awareness and visitor numbers steadily increase, the museum still needs your support to continue its mission: “to inform and educate the general public, as well as business and special-interest groups, about the history of the sign industry and its significant contribution to commerce and the American landscape.” n

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - August 2013

Signs of the Times - August 2013
ST Update
Technology Update
Cloud-based signshop software
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Electric
LED Update
Software Update
Technology Review - Esko Kongsberg XN finishing system
Technology Review - Gerber Edge seminars
Sign Museum News
New Products
Standing Their Ground
Commercial-Sign Company 1 on 1’s
Dynamic Displays at LAX
Advertising index
Editorially speaking

Signs of the Times - August 2013