We are at the end of our first year of operation as a Museum, but it has been more than ten years in gestation, beginning with our collaboration with writers Richard and Katherine Greene, and producers Cathy Labrador and Jean Pierre Isbouts of Pantheon Productions on a CDRom that created our "virtual Museum". Our website carried this on, and queries that the Greenes received about the location of the REAL Museum prompted us to seek a location for the stuff we needed to find a home for: Dad's train, his awards, his miniature collection, etc. Our first site was in one of the Presidio warehouses on Gorgas Street, not far from our present and permanent location. Our vision for the Museum grew as we realized that whatever we did in my Dad's name would have to be done in his manner...as well as we could possibly do it. The story was all-important, but we needed to present it in an entertaining way. The building was a challenge, but we respected it, as did our designers and architects, and we are proud of the results.
But the most rewarding thing of all is the way it has been accepted by those who have visited. My goals were that our visitors would leave knowing my dad, inspired by his story, and that the whole experience would be a very pleasant one for them. The word we are getting from the various blogs and reviews indicates that this is happening.
We are especially grateful for the support of our members, who have been enthusiastic about the Museum and supportive of our programs. I want to thank them, and our wonderful staff, who do so much to make the Museum experience a memorable one.
Co-Founder, The Walt Disney Family Museum
Wow! It's hard to believe that one year has flown by since The Walt Disney Family Museum opened. Over 120,000 guests visited us and 1,500 households joined the larger Museum family by becoming Members. I enjoyed getting to know many of you through our Member's only events and casual encounters in the galleries.
I'm very proud of the hard work that our staff did to present an amazing array of programs, publications, and films. We've had speakers, panels, lectures, puppet shows, and concerts; we've had two exhibitions in our Theater Lobby; we've published a book and four quarterly newsletters; we've also begun a couple of new San Francisco holiday traditions with our exclusive screenings of Hallowscreen! and Christmas with Walt Disney. Two of the highlights for me were our first "Conversations with Legends", when I had the opportunity to have a public chat with Richard Sherman, Rollie Crump, and Blaine Gibson, and our celebration of Disneyland's 55th anniversary, which Marty Sklar organized especially for the Museum.
And, of course, we've worked to ensure that our galleries continue to present the life story of Walt Disney in a way that engages visitors on multiple levels with original animation art, family photographs and home movies, documentary materials, objects from Walt's personal collections, film and television clips, and interactives that are an educational resource for all. It's been a privilege and a great pleasure to help make this Museum a place where all are welcome.
Founding Executive Director, The Walt Disney Family Museum
For a complete listing of Anniversary Weekend Events, please visit THE SCHEDULE here!