The Blog of the Frances Perkins Center

Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

Billionaires for Wealthcare — Guerilla Theater

In Legislation Today on October 27, 2009 at 9:58 am

[Side note: Frances Perkins appears as a character in the original musical “Annie,” on which this piece is based. I think she would have appreciated this effort to humorously expose the opponents of reform.]

The Center looks ahead to 2010 and beyond

In The Center on October 14, 2009 at 11:17 am

On September 15th, the Frances Perkins Center held a planning session attended by all board members and several friends of the Center. The meeting was facilitated by Carol Wishcamper and was divided into two sections: Programs & Activities; and Finances.

The agreed-upon priorities for programs and activities in the next 18 to 24 months are:

  1. 75th anniversary of the Social Security Act as a theme for 2010 (yearlong celebration, including January film screening and panel discussion, national conversation/Internet “jam,” book of essays about importance and meaning of Social Security, possible curriculum)
  2. Oral History project
  3. Historic Structure/Cultural Landscape Report
  4. Continuing Outreach through awards program, senior college seminars, etc.
  5. Fellowship Program (Perkins Center Scholars)

In discussing the Center’s finances, we focused on ways to generate revenue:

  • Earned income (sponsorships for events and publications)
  • Grants
  • Individual Donors

We set two ambitious financial goals: to submit five grant proposals by December 31, 2009 and to raise $225,000 by next summer. Since the meeting, we have submitted two grant proposals and have raised about $14,000 (only $211,000 to go!).

The meeting ended on a very positive, energetic note. If you’d like to support the Center by making an online donation, go to and designate the Frances Perkins Center as the recipient of your contribution. Thanks!

Frances Perkins Center welcomes new board member, Sarah Peskin

In The Center on October 13, 2009 at 1:01 pm

We’re thrilled to have her. Here’s a little bit about her:

Former chief of planning and legislation for the National Park Service north atlantic region, Sarah Peskin has guided the preservation and interpretation of many nationally significant historic places and managed major new facility projects from concept to operation. A graduate of Smith College, she holds a master’s degree in urban planning from New York University and was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University.

From 1979-90 she was planning director of the Lowell Historic Preservation Commission, the public/private entity that helped develop Lowell National Historical Park. From 1990-2009 she did feasibility studies and worked on legislation to establish new areas such as Weir Farm National Historic Site, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum National Historic Site. She led the recent planning effort for the Schoodic section of Acadia National Park where a navy base was transformed into an educational campus to serve multiple audiences.  Award-winning projects she managed include the Mogan Cultural Center, Boarding House Park, and the Lowell Park Trolley System.  She wrote “Cultural Tourism: Where Culture and Economy Meet” (Boston Foundation, 2004) and “America’s Special Landscapes: The Heritage Area Phenomenon” (Ferrara, 2001).  She has recently retired from the National Park Service to spend most of her time at her home in Walpole, Maine, just across the Damariscotta River from the Perkins Homestead.