City Agrees to Consulting Plan for Poe House

| October 3, 2012 | 0 Comments
Mayor Rawlings-Blake Applauds Plan to Improve Historic Poe House
One-year consultant agreement will help develop strategies to make the museum self-sufficient, with more robust programming.
BALTIMORE, MD. (OCTOBER 3, 2012) – Today, the Board of Estimates approved a consultant agreement between the Baltimore City Department of Planning and the B&O Railroad Museum for services in the areas of museum management and development for the historic Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum. The one-year agreement will support a newly-established nonprofit board that will work to position the Poe House as an independent and sustainable historic attraction. At the conclusion of the one-year contract, the new Poe Baltimore nonprofit will assume full responsibility for operating and funding the Poe House, which is to remain City property.“For years, Baltimore has celebrated its connection with Edgar Allan Poe in many ways, and the Poe House played an important role,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “This agreement will set the Poe House on a new course toward self-sufficiency and growth as one of Baltimore’s premier cultural attractions.”Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) is known throughout the world as the creator of the modern short story form, and for defining the literary genres of mystery, science fiction, and horror. Built in 1830, Baltimore’s Poe House is the oldest of the three known Poe residences that are still standing. It first opened to the public as a museum in 1948. The Poe House and Museum draws thousands of visitors to Baltimore each year, from all over the world.

In 2010, the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Planning began seeking alternative funding sources and operation models to keep the Poe House open and accessible to the public. The Cultural Resources Management Group (CRMG) was contracted to prepare a business plan for the Poe House to ensure its sustainability in terms of preservation and operation. That business plan has been posted on the Planning Department’s website.

CRMG proposed the creation of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Poe Baltimore. This new group will manage the operation, marketing, and interpretation of The Poe House and Museum; produce events across the city to raise awareness; and brand Poe’s identity to Baltimore.

Poe Baltimore will be governed by an independent board of directors, which will include a City representative. Initial incorporation papers have been signed and are in process of being filed as required. Board members who have agreed to serve thus far are listed below.

Mark Redfield, actor and Poe House events director
Kristen Harbeson, former board member for the Small Museum Association
Renee Samuels, special assistant to the mayor
Jane Shaab, assistant vice president, UMB
Lorraine Ledbetter, Poe Homes Tenants Council
Dr. Carla Hayden, executive director, Enoch Pratt Free Library
Sam Rogers, executive vice president, Visit Baltimore
Greg Wilhelm, executive director, CityLit Project

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