Conservancy 2014 Highlights: A Banner Year!
Thanks to support from our members throughout the year, the tide has finally begun to turn for the SS United States. The Conservancy recently announced an initial redevelopment agreement with partners committed to covering the ship’s carrying costs as their plans advance. While many challenges loom – converting the magnificent liner into a spectacular mixed-use museum and development complex is a daunting undertaking – we’ve never been closer to saving the SS United States. Your continued support will help us advance our shipboard museum and educational center, build our archival and curatorial collections, document and disseminate the ship’s history, plan for contingencies, and prepare the ship for her next journey.
We can’t thank you enough for supporting our efforts. If we succeed in saving the SS United States, we will send a powerful message at home and abroad about how our nation views its historical accomplishments, its present-day challenges, and its dreams for the future. We promise to work tirelessly in 2015 to ensure that the “Big Ship” endures and inspires for generations to come.
- Signed a preliminary agreement with a well-qualified development partner that will also aid the Conservancy in covering the vessel’s monthly carrying costs.
- Raised crucial funds for the ship’s upkeep: In response to Conservancy supporter Jim Pollin’s $100,000 challenge grant, 800 donors from 44 states and 17 nations donated more than $120,000 in only 3 months.
- Shined a media spotlight on the SS United States, with a front-page feature in the Washington Post, a full page spread in the New York Times, coverage in the Associated Press, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Wired magazine, Al Jazeera America television, and many others.
- Expanded our curatorial collections and mounted a major SS United States exhibition in partnership with Philadelphia’s Independence Seaport Museum.
- Partnered with renowned author and illustrator David Macaulay (The Way Things Work, Castle) in presenting public programs highlighting his future book about the SS United States. Supported historians Steven Ujifusa (A Man and His Ship – soon to be released in Chinese!) and John Maxtone-Graham (SS United States: Red, White and Blue Riband Forever) in their research and outreach.
- Built our membership base: Conservancy supporters now hail from all 50 states and 37 nations. We also bolstered our social media outreach on Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, and grew our Facebook community to more than 12,600 supporters.
In partnership with the Conservancy’s ten regional chapters, organized outreach events around the nation and in Europe that bolstered momentum to save the SSUnited States.