A New Year Message from Executive Director & CEO Alicia L. Goehring

It’s onward and upward for the California Historical Society in 2022! A new exhibition, Chinese Pioneers: Power and Politics in Exclusion Era Photographs, opens in late January. We are already hard at work on another exhibition set to open this summer. It will focus on CHS’s extraordinary collection of maps. When you stop-by to see the new exhibition you will notice that our storefront has a new look. We have been working on new window graphics, store window displays, lighting, and glass repair.

After the Chinese Pioneers exhibition closes in June, we are developing a traveling banner exhibition from the same research and interpretation. The banner exhibition will be available to local and cultural history organizations, libraries, and community centers throughout the state. This initiative is made possible by a generous grant from the Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation. More to come on this initiative in the months ahead.

With our collections, we will be focusing resources on adding additional items to the CHS Digital Library. This includes items from the remarkable California Flower Market collection, donated to CHS by the San Francisco Flower Mart immediately before the pandemic hit. It is our pleasure to work with the generous folks at the SF Flower Mart to share this collection with the world.

As part of our new vision announced in 2020, we have been developing a History Education and Field Services Initiative (HEFSI). A Education and Field Services (EFS) department will perform a variety of duties to help CHS obtain its statewide outreach goals, and reach its vision for the future.

The EFS department will focus primarily on providing statewide services to K-12 grade teachers; local and cultural history organizations; and other providers of formal and informal history programming such as libraries and community centers. In addition, EFS staff members will provide services directly to children and youth. It is exciting to announce that this spring we will be hiring a full-time educator that will focus on providing these services to teachers and classrooms statewide. More to come on this initiative later this year as well.

We are going to pick up the pace with programming this year. Our popular virtual programs will continue–and COVID willing–we will restart our “in-person” programming later this year. However, this will not dampen our commitment to our widely accessible virtual programming. After all, we are a statewide organization.

As we continue our work to inspire and empower people to make California’s richly diverse past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives, we thank you for your continued support. We couldn’t do it without you.