Westport Historical Society to change its name
WESTPORT — By the end of the month, the Westport Historical Society will be known by a different name.
Formally taking effect Sept. 28 with the launch of its “Becoming Westport” exhibit, the new name will be Westport Museum For History & Culture.
“The name change is part of a strategic planning process that the organization underwent from 2014 to 2017 with the help of a state program funded by CT Humanities,” Sara Krasne, Westport Museum Board Chairperson, said in an announcement Thursday. “The Board of Directors voted to change the name back in 2017 but elected to wait until this year to formalize it after some milestones had been reached.”
Official roll-out of the name will take place at the organization’s annual benefit dinner, Night at the Museum, also on Sept. 28, which will feature celebrity chef Chris Scott who was a finalist on Bravo’s Top Chef and keynote speaker Alisyn Camerota, a CNN anchor.
The evening will aso feature the opening of “Becoming Westport,” the first exhibit under the museum’s new name. The exhibit follows the evolution of Westport from colonial settlement through the 20th century.
“We’ve been working hard toward meeting best practices of museums nationwide, including providing interactive exhibits and programming that use our local story as a relatable way to explore regional and national stories,” said Westport Historical Society Executive Director Ramin Ganeshram. “The name change reflects the work we have done toward this goal to date and the national recognition we have received for it.”
Ganeshram said the name change reflects a trend seen in many other organizations in Connecticut.
In 2014, Fairfield Historical Society changed its name to the Fairfield Museum and History Center, and in 2018 Stamford Historical Society followed suit.
Nationally, Richmond Histo rical Society was renamed Virginia Museum for History and Culture in 2018.
The change in directive also follows a trend among local cultural organizations to become more expansive and regional in their scope, according to the announcement — the Westport Library’s recently completed transformation project and the Westport Arts Center’s move to a larger location and changing its name to Museum of Contemporary Art, to name a few.
“We’re proud of our many steps forward over the last two years,” Krasne said. “The new name more adequately represents the work the Museum is doing daily to fulfill our mission to inspire the holistic discovery.”