12 Accomplishments of the Wren’s Nest in 2020
After a long, very uncertain year, we wanted to take the time to reflect and give thanks for all that we have been able to accomplish in this environment. Over the last 12 days of 2020, we celebrated 12 items we accomplished over the course of the year. We hope you enjoy this look back and will consider making a donation to support The Wren’s Nest’s continued efforts as well as its wonderful storytellers: https://supportstories.org/
*Please note, this list is not necessarily in order of importance.
1. Virtual Storytelling. When the pandemic hit, we couldn’t bear to let our weekly storytelling lapse. So we adapted to a virtual format. Since April, we’ve had 34 performances from 15 storytellers! Watch their performances now at www.wrensnest.org/virtual-storytelling
2. Renovations made possible by the Gable Foundation. Thanks to their generous help, we were able to renovate our back and front stairs as well as create our new Gable Gallery space in the former back bedroom. This will allow us to have a designated exhibition space moving forward and we are very grateful to the Gable Foundation for making this happen.
3. Improvements to our backyard, including our storytelling circle, new pathways, and new flower beds. We could not have done this without the generous help of Deloitte.
4. Adapting our Scribes program. The pandemic closed Atlanta Public Schools midway through our annual middle school writing program and we were unsure it would continue. However, like so many, we adapted, taking our sessions and the students’ publications online. You can read the stories and story excerpts from the 2020 Scribes here: https://wrensnest.org/scribes-spring-2020/
5. Adapting our programs to a virtual setting. This is includes our 5 online book talks and 4 nights of virtual Ghost Hunting with the Southeastern Institute for Paranormal Research. Thank goodness for our flexible partners and for Zoom!
6. Launching our first guided virtual tour. We are so grateful that the timing for our grant from Georgia Humanities worked out so well. It allowed us to create this tour and enabled over a 1,000 visitors to explore the museum virtually since the launch this spring. Take the tour now at www.wrensnest.org/virtual-tours
7. Revitalized blog. As evidenced by this post, our once dormant blog is dormant no more! Instead, it is now full of historical, current, and fun information associated with the Wren’s Nest. Explore the blog now at www.wrensnest.org/news
8. Celebrating the art of Brer Rabbit. This year, we launched our first online gallery of the various illustrations of the beloved trickster (https://wrensnest.org/brer-rabbit-gallery/). We also hosted our first drawing challenge, encouraging our audience to try their own hand at depicting Brer Rabbit for a chance to win a prize. You can see all the talented and creative submissions we received at https://wrensnest.org/may-2020-brer-rabbit-drawing…/
9. A new interactive version of the Harris family tree. Thanks to a grant from Georgia Humanities we were able to create this new digital education tool, allowing visitors to learn more about Harris and his family. Explore the tree now at: https://wrensnest.org/wrens-nest-family-tree/
10. Establishing an advisory board. Along with the ongoing recruitment of new members that will bring new perspectives and connections to The Wren’s Nest, this advisory board that increases our ongoing connections to those people who have been a part of the leadership of The Wren’s Nest. Members include former board chairs, former board members, and the descendants of Joel Chandler Harris. This board allows for members to have a long-term, but more casual connection with the Nest.
11. A new finance and constituent database. While times are certainly lean at The Wren’s Nest at the moment, we are excited that we have a new and better system for capturing our financial and audience information. Although it’s still under development, this comprehensive database allows us to stay better connected with those who have an ongoing bond with The Wren’s Nest. It is also especially useful for sharing our thanks and gratitude to our donors.
12. Hiring a new Executive Director. We were excited to have Dean Baker join our team this past fall and introduce the idea of the Next Nest. Find out more about both Dean and the new initiative here: https://wrensnest.org/what-is-it-about-the-wrens-nest/
2020 was a strange and challenging year to say the least. However, we are glad we can report so many of these accomplishments and are grateful for your help in making it possible.
But there’s still so much more we’d like to accomplish. Please consider donating to help us continue our improvements and accomplish even more.
Happy New Year!