Each June brings graduation season and with it a mix of excitement for the future and reflection on the past. For us at Maritime Gloucester, the start of summer brings that feeling home. There is the satisfaction of wrapping up a year full of educational programs and great events. And there is also the excitement of the upcoming summer season, working with our partners and welcoming more people to our campus.
When I think reflectively about Maritime Gloucester, what it means to the community, and about its mission, I am, quite frankly, amazed. I am amazed that nearly 20 years ago a group of 300 people got together to buy the pier and waterfront we call home. To stake a claim to their harbor for future generations so that people could always experience this working waterfront and this aspect of our community. Maritime Gloucester is a special place because it grew out of that sense of community and that idea of giving back. It is a story that starts with preservation of our site, but it does not stop there. It is only the beginning of our story. The next part was how to share it!
How we share this site with the community was the start of the Maritime Gloucester mission. We wanted the public to come to our site, to enjoy the harbor, and to learn! We began to
provide educational programs, interactive exhibits, workshops and demonstrations, sharing our site in new and exciting ways. Today, we offer activities for thousands of visitors and school groups. We continue to celebrate our maritime heritage and explore our relationship with the ocean each day. We teach old skills and new interpretations. We actively partner with dozens of local groups and we support local organizations through our site and sharing our resources. We are proud to be a gathering place for artists, educators, musicians, fitness groups, rowers, scientists, fishermen, boat enthusiasts, researchers and anyone just looking to be by the water. Our mission is an educational mission because it is born of our desire to share this wonderful place.
This past winter we began a series of discussions with the people we serve, our partners, and the general community about the essential parts of our mission and our mission focus. Not just what we do, but why and how we do it. Our core values (Inspiring Discovery, Embracing History, Exploring Science, Living Stewardship) remain essential to why and how we fulfill our mission. From these conversations it became clear that Maritime Gloucester is defined by community and by education. These two things are a theme that was echoed again and again. It is both who and what we are. The outcome of these conversations is a new tagline that we feel better defines our current focus and identity. I am pleased to announce this tagline today: Maritime Gloucester. Engaging Community, Inspiring Discovery.
I welcome you to come visit our campus this summer and take part in what we are doing to share our site with you. We have a summer season filled with educational Pop Up Opportunities in our aquarium, wet lab, classroom, and on our pier. Our staff and summer interns have created some great one-hour interactive workshops in maritime science or maritime history. Look for our updated calendar throughout the summer. Come sit on the pier or sail on a schooner, there is something for everyone!