October 5, 2020
The Museum of Ventura County has received a Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections Planning Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The grant will allow the museum to create a collections risk assessment, a fire suppression assessment report, and a disaster response plan for the entire organization. The Museum of Ventura County serves county residents, researchers, scholars, and the public, caring for a vast collection of 180,000 historical artifacts, art works, official documents, and agricultural machinery and implements.
“The Museum of Ventura County is the only museum dedicated to serving the entire Ventura County region and its combined holdings form the largest collection on Ventura County history,” says The Barbara Barnard Smith Executive Director Elena Brokaw. “Taken as a whole, the various collections tell the story of the region’s social, political, and economic development from the 1850s onward. Given today’s raging wildfires and a global pandemic, it is paramount that we protect the collections of our county and region and this grant will allow us to prepare for calamity and also ensure the continued preservation of at-risk items.”
David Fukutomi is a member of the Museum’s Board of Directors and he will serve as Board Liaison and advisor to the project. Mr. Fukutomi serves as an advisor, subject matter expert, and facilitator to federal, state, and local government agencies and the private sector, specializing in the areas of holistic disaster resilience, recovery, and public policy. Research Library & Archives Director Deya Terrafranca, MLIS, Collections Manager Renee Tallent, Thomas F. R. Clareson of the Lyrasis Company, Mr. Jack Collings of CFP Engineers, Irena Calinescue of Fine Arts Conservation, and Christina Bean of 805 Conservation are also on the team for this project.
“The Museum has the great responsibility to protect our community’s cultural resources and that includes preparing for and mitigating disasters,” says The Smith-Hobson Family Collections Manager Renee Tallent. Sometimes it’s hard to devote time and mental energy to consider the “what ifs”. This grant is vital because it allows us to prioritize how we preserve our collections and it brings in experts to provide a fresh perspective on things our staff sees every day. It balances the health and safety of people and our collection.”