April 29, 2018

A New Name for the Andover Historical Society:
Andover Center for History & Culture
ANDOVER, MA – Andover Historical Society is changing its name to the Andover Center for History and Culture.  “Our new name is more reflective of who we are and what we do,” said Martha Tubinis, Board leader of the Center’s rebranding team.
The Rebranding team included Board President Susan McKelliget, Vice President Martha Tubinis, Board members Maryann Sadagopan and Karen Simmonds, community volunteers Nora Pelt and Barbara Solomon, and Executive Director Elaine Clements. The rebranding project was funded by Andover members and donors. The new logo was created by Bonfire Studios, a web design and development agency in downtown Andover.
Ten years ago, staff, Board, and volunteers began to re-imagine, and then re-define, the role local history could have in the Town of Andover.  “One of the biggest internal changes happened when we started asking ourselves, ‘why not?’ when new programs and ideas were suggested,” said Elaine Clements Executive Director, “That simple change opened up a world of possibilities for programs and partnerships.” The change led to participation in the creation of the Historic Mill District, and new partnerships with schools, teachers, the town, and other civic and cultural groups in Andover.
The internal transformation resulted in a new mission and vision for the over 100 year old organization. It’s mission is “to foster community connections and civic engagement by gathering and sharing Andover’s stories: Preserving the past. Educating for the future. Connecting with our community.”
“We gather, preserve, and share Andover’s history to help people gain an appreciation for the importance of history in our lives, and in personal and community decision-making. Our shared past informs and shapes our future as individuals, as a community, and as a democracy,” said Executive Director Elaine Clements. “It’s a big mission for a small organization, but our community has embraced our new mission, programs and partnerships, and we’re confident that we can live up to it.”
WHY change the name?
Historical “societies” across the country struggle with the name. To many people “society” has an exclusivity that discourages their participation. Created in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the local historical society was often a private, insular organization that required membership in order to participate in events and learn more about the history of a town. Historical societies often preserved the history of a just small section of the town’s citizens to the exclusion of others.
“Like many other types of museums,” Martha Tubinis said, “we do offer membership, but it’s not exclusive. We actively encourage everyone to discover Andover’s stories and participate in events, programs, and activities, often free of charge. Learning and appreciating history is for everyone, and helps to forge connections in our communities. Preserving the past, educating for the future and connecting with our community – this is the mission of the Andover Center for History and Culture.”
So, the word “society” was removed and replaced with the word “center,” and “historical” replaced with “culture.” Both are broader, open, and more inclusive to the many cultures that contribute to Andover’s past, present, and future. Contrary to the insular focus of old historical societies, the Center has an external community focus that preserves and celebrates the history and culture of Andover. The Andover Center for History & Culture collaborates with multiple cultural organizations in and around Andover encompassing literature, music, the outdoors, urban planning, education, farmers market, civic organizations, and other museums and historical groups.
“Our new logo, a leaf, is a historic and universal representation of culture,” said Martha Tubinis, “The leaf suggests movement, which represents something active and living, moving forward and making history relevant to contemporary everyday life. We want history to serve as a launching point to inspire all of us to be creative, collaborative, and contemplative in our daily lives. And we look forward to sharing the Andover Center for History & Culture with our community.”