How it all began - About the formation of the FMG

Siegbert Damaschke At about the turn of the millennium the city governement through the leadership of now Honorary Mayor Siegbert Damaschke, decided to use the now threatened by decay, but landmarked/listed, medieval, former cloister of the Augustine's later hospital in the "Neustadt" -new town- as the home of the museum of city history. The city leaders were already aware that, beyond the formal responsibilities of the municipality, this ambitious, both in regard to the building renovations as well as spatial and content design, would be a costly museum and that the development would require broad civic support and involement.

Thus, early on, the City Council appointed (according to the Hessian local government bylaws) a so-called museum commmission of City Council representatives, members of the town delegates meeting, as well as expert citizens. The commission was to be an advisory committee for the architectural and construction work, as well as the guide the museum concept and oversee the planning and implementation stages. The expert citizens came from the former "Local History Working Group" and other town historically interested and recognized personalities. Karin Bautz

In parallel the municipal leaders, through consultation with the "Hessische Museumsverband", were aware that the operation of the museum, for example the support personnel to cover the opening hours, would be difficult for the city, likewise covering and enlisting donations and sponsorship.

Thus the town began, under the leadership of the newly hired Museum Director Mrs. Karin Bautz M.A., to adopt, practices and experiences of other city's small rural museums and create a non-profit foundation and draft by-laws (PDF in German) in support of the future museum.

Wolfgang Hofheinz Following adequate public relations work, a founding public meeting occurred under the chairmanship of the mayor on January 20, 2004. After the adoption of the by-laws (PDF in German) and naming of "Freundeskreis Museum Grünberg (FMG) e.V.", 36 citizens joined the club spontaneously. They elected Mr. Wolfgang Hofheinz as President/Chairman and seven (7) other members as their first board of directors, which has been reelected unchanged twice since.

The FMG's main focus during the foundation year was, in connection with an active public relations drive, member recruitment. This resulted in an addition of 50 new members by the end of the year. Museum im Spital Logo This was helped by a flyer created soon after the club's formation and an initial public presentation about the clubs and its mission. Opportunty for recruitment occurred in March of the same year at the Theo-Koch-Schule (German Only) Open House and in May during the participation in the International Museum Day. In October the FMG participated in "Tag der Vereine (a day when the local association can present themselves)" for the first time during the the annual "Gallusmarkt" (in German Only) festivities. Participation and the "Baked Apple Ring" are now a tradition. This first year marked the first of a long list of educational trips for the club and its friends and members. This trip was selected due to the Philips-Jubilee and the associated Reformation exibition in Marburg. Finally, many activities connected the FMG with other culture/historic clubs, schools, and church communities in the city and its boroughs and there with the local selectmen. All these activities have since been continued and refined into the clubs mission.

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