Message from the Board President – from the March 2023 Kul News


The Immigrant Experience – Change and Tradition I recently re-read my Grandmother Violet Iversons’ memoirs. She was a second-generation Swedish immigrant born in 1900 in Minneapolis. Hers was an urban experience. Unfortunately, her parents didn’t speak much about the old country, To quote her book, “Some of my earliest memories are of hearing her Dad complain about those Rooshins. Apparently, he wasn’t too tolerant of the Norwegians either.“ There was irony in this, in that my grandmother later married a Norwegian. Some things change and some things stay the same. Some things change. Gammelgården is investing for the future. We have significantly improved our website as well as increased our presence on Facebook and other social media platforms thanks to Ann Rinkenberger’s leadership. We have a much more aggressive winter program through the efforts of Lynne Moratzka, Linnea Johnson, Ann Rinkenberger, and many volunteers. We are recruiting new staff, beginning with an assistant director. It is much more complex to operate as a non-church-based non-profit than as a church-based entity. There continues to be a lot of work going on behind the scenes to complete this transition. Our 501(c)(3) application was written, reviewed, and submitted as was our name change application for the IRS. Now we wait. We also need to annually file a Form 990 with the IRS and have gathered all the detailed information needed for that submittal. Finally, our Investment Committee has been busy working on recommending a strategy for investing our Endowment Fund. My thanks to Nohemi Brown, Dianne Johnson, and our Investment Committee of John Bakke, Tammy Peterson, and Dean Barr for their efforts in this area. Some things stay the same. We broke even in January. These are good results given we had over $1,600 in utility bills, legal expenses for setting up the 501(c)(3), and start-up expenses for the new website. I expect we will be in the red in February. Our target continues to be to break even for the entire year. Donations of time and money will continue to be a significant part of our operating strategy. Almost 50% of our operating income for 2023 will come from direct donations or distributions from the Endowment Fund. The vast majority of the day-to-day work at the museum is done by our tremendous volunteers. We thank you for your support!