Claremont Heritage reaching out to widen audience [Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Calif.]
(Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (CA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 30--Claremont Heritage Inc. is busier than it's been in years.
While the primary mission of the nonprofit is to help preserve the city's storied past, executive director David Shearer and the board of directors have made a conscious effort to reach out to the wider community of the Inland Valley.
And with film series and exhibitions paired with the monthly walking tours and the annual very popular fall home tour, it's working.
"We've really focused on programs and community outreach. We have tried to collaborate with other community organizations, too, and involve the community in what we are doing," Shearer said.
Part of the Heritage's mission is to help preserve history --oral histories, historic buildings and sites. It also is very involved with educational programs for local students. And it wants to further open up the Garner House, the historic building in Memorial Park that is leased from the city and that Heritage calls home.
One of the projects Heritage and its supporters is involved in is a new survey of architecture in the city, especially pertaining to Claremont's rich stock of mid-century moderns.
"Heritage helped save Padua Theatre, the Depot, The Packing House and others. We just want people to know what we have here in the city and how important it is to save it," said Shearer, who studied architecture and has owned galleries in New York and Claremont.
He is a believer in the adaptive reuse of buildings and thinks that "one of the city's best assets is what is already here."
In fact, the spotlight will be on mid-century modern buildings during an upcoming show by local history icon and pop humorist Charles Phoenix who is from the Inland Valley. Phoenix will discuss architecture in Los Angeles during an afternoon presentation on Nov. 10, from 3 to 5 p.m. in Mudd Theater in the Claremont School of Theology, 1325 N. College Ave. There will be a live slide show performance and discussion of Claremont places of interests as well.
Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door. For information, call 909-621-0848.
Claremont Heritage is billing him as "showman, author, humorist and ambassador of Americana!" He's a little of all of them, Shearer said, but there is no mistaking Phoenix's knowledge. "I think it's going to be a great program," Shearer said.
Heritage also hopes visitors will stop by the Ginger Elliott Exhibition Center in the Garner House to see "16 Architects," which will end that day. Garner House will be open from noon to 4 p.m. for those who want to stroll through the free exhibit on their own. The 1950 exhibition originally was mounted in the galleries of Scripps College. It showcases the works of outstanding Southern California architects after World War II.
Ongoing events include guided walking tours of the Claremont Village on the first Saturday of each month and the last walking tour of the year of The Claremont Colleges set for Nov. 9. Guests should meet at Seaver House, 305 N. College Ave., at 9:30 a.m. Reservations are requested and the cost is $8.
Shearer said this is an exciting time for Claremont Heritage Inc. as it moves forward. He has revamped its website and incorporated email message blasts and engaged various forms of social media to get the organization's name and message out there.
"I love Claremont and I am very happy with where I am right now," he said. "I think Claremont is an undiscovered little gem of a town and we should help getting the word out. Preservation is very important but we also should realize that once people know what we have here, more people will be interested in preservation."
The mission of Claremont Heritage Inc. is to help preserve history while being a public advocate of the past while looking ahead to the future. It does so in many ways. Volunteer opportunities are available as are memberships which begin at the Friend Circle for $60.
(c)2013 the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, Calif.)
Visit the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, Calif.) at www.dailybulletin.com
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