To have a steampunk festival, an industrial museum must be present and participate.
When I first started inquiring about venues that might be interested in participating in a steampunk festival around the downtown area of Attleboro, the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum was my first stop. If the board or employees there did not want to participate, it may have stopped Jewelry City in its tracks. So a HUGE thank you goes out to the Board and the two wonderful employees (don’t forget the volunteers!) of the Industrial Museum here in Attleboro.
If you haven’t been to this gem of a museum, you should go. If you’ve been following the blog, you should know that I am a big museum nerd, and y’know, I like steampunky things. It not only holds working machinery from local industry, there is also a beautiful button collection that is worth seeing, and a photo collection that would blow your mind. The best piece is the horse-drawn fire engine. It is big, right in the main gallery, and although you can’t touch it, you can walk 360 degrees around it. How many museums let you do that!? Their website has some great resources, too—for example, did you know you can rent the museum?
Their mission, as missions go, is to the point, but look at the end:
It is the mission of the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum, Inc. (AAIM) to collect and preserve the artifacts, photographs, documents, publications, tools, and machinery that relate to the industrial history of the Attleboro area; to make these materials readily available for both research and enjoyment; and to act as a resource center for the education of the public about the industrial history of the Attleboro area, so that knowledge of the past may contribute to a fuller understanding of the present and inspiration for the future.
“Knowledge of the past may contribute to a fuller understanding of the present” would complete this mission statement for most museums, but they, being an industrial museum, take it a step further: “and inspiration for the future.” Their collections should be used not only for study, but for recreation and inspiration.
Well, Attleboro Area Industrial Museum, consider Jewelry City Steampunk Festival as mission accomplished! (Just don’t close up, we need you!) You have inspired many people in this area, but you also inspired me to create a free one-day festival in the downtown of Attleboro on October 28, 2017. We are planning some great panels and programs for the back room of the industrial museum, so be sure to check our website and Facebook page for program details!
~Heather Rockwood, Festival Director