The 2020/2021 Annual Report

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Dear Friends and Supporters,

Determination and hard work brought The Bryan Museum through the uncertain times of the last two years with flying colors! We are proud to share this report with you. It highlights how your investment has been used to achieve our educational goals and preserve our shared history through the museum’s collection and programs. Your contribution of time, financial support, and advocacy impact everyone who participates in the one-of-a-kind history experience found at The Bryan Museum.

In 2020, our response to health and safety protocols was a launch of our first virtual programming. This effort increased our online viewership by thousands of people nationwide. Open once again to the public, we prepared for program expansion from Galveston all the way to Northwest Houston. In 2021, our visitors came back in full force with visitation reaching pre-pandemic levels. Two of our highest attended community days to date were Trunk or Treat and Holiday Delights. Our weekends were filled with weddings and receptions for brides and grooms who have always dreamed of getting married at a historic venue.

The museum truly inspires life-long learning and strives to be the place where everyone has the opportunity to learn more about the high adventure that is the story of Texas. This story is profoundly important, inspiring, and unique to world history and the expansion of our own country. We acknowledge the stories of all Texans and their contribution to our rich cultural diversity. These stories are essential to the understanding of our history and how we have come to be as a society. Our lectures: Hidden Histories of African American Texans and Histories of Tejanos, as well as our partnership with the Art of Equality Contest during Juneteenth in Galveston provided a context and new perspective on history that stimulated insightful conversations amongst all backgrounds.

The official establishment of our Education Department in 2021, allowed us to focus on the most important aspect of our mission, the next generation. We welcomed back school tours and introduced our first traveling educational exhibit and literacy curriculum into the Houston area. The artwork depicting the story of Charles Goodnight was displayed in Northwest Houston at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts for over 6,000 field trip students to experience. Partnerships with other museums, school districts, and nonprofits, like The Heritage Society in Houston, have become key to our educational programming and outreach. After the launch of our partnership with iWRITE, we announced that we would be providing students with the opportunity to break a Guinness World Record for the largest published book in the world. One thousand students were given the chance to make history and get published in a book called, I Am Texas. We immediately saw our school participation rates quadruple. Encouraging children to learn more about their shared history and empowering them with freedom of expression that is validated in a VERY LARGE book gives a confidence boost that is life-changing.

Ultimately, the preservation of our Texas history will be in their hands. It is our duty as an organization to find meaningful ways to connect with the next generation.

We invite you to learn more about The Bryan Museum’s mission and programs as the organization takes active steps to bring history to life to preserve it for future generations.

By transforming historical education through compelling stories and a world-class collection, we advocate for the importance of our shared history as a source of wisdom and guidance for our institutions, our communities, and ourselves. We hope you find pride and fulfillment in giving your support and being a part of The Bryan Museum.

Melissa Williams Murphy
Executive Director
Mary Jon and J.P. Bryan