Welcome to a New Year at the River of Time!
As we enthusiastically enter this New Year, the staff looks forward to keeping our members connected to their River of Time by exploring some new opportunities and continuing to implement some of their favorites.
Fort McDowell Yavapai Tours Continue
This year we will continue our extremely successful Fort McDowell Yavapai/River of Time tour program. This partnership with the FMYN affords our members and visitors the opportunity to discover the culture, history, and heritage of our neighbors. As I write, this once-a-month program offered October through April still has a few openings for the April tour – but previous months have sold out, so don’t delay in booking your spot!
Fantastic Foragers Experience
A new off-grounds experience, “Fantastic Foragers” is offered through a partnership with the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy and features talented stewards who guide participants on a casual walk through the Sonoran desert discovering the plants and animals that ancient people would have sourced for food and medicine. This three-hour experience takes place at the Lost Dog Wash Trailhead and at the River of Time. A series of these offerings, which serve as an introduction to the FMYN/River of Time tour, will be offered in 2023.
Art Gallery Exhibits
Our Art Gallery will feature several local and regional artists throughout the year beginning with work by the late Bettina “Tina” Wilke. The show, “The Luminous Southwestern Landscape,” continues through Feb. 11. Working with watercolors, oils and pastes, Wilke found inspiration to paint from nature. Be it landforms and shapes, dynamic or subtle color, the flow of line and movement in the atmosphere itself – all contributed to her inspiration.
Photographer Mike Buchheit lived more than 25 years at the Grand Canyon National Park, where he served as director of the Grand Canyon Conservancy Field Institute. His adventures in the Park and surrounding public and tribal lands are evident in a portfolio of thousands of unique images. Buchheit’s show will hang in the gallery from mid-February until mid-March.
Make a Splash Fundraiser
We are continuing our Make a Splash fundraising campaign. It is imperative that we generate the financial resources necessary for us to be able to support our mission and offer more water-themed programming. Would you consider a sustainable donation? Learn how these recurring donations really help us. This will include the addition of a docent-led water conservation tour, water conservation activities, and programming for students, as well as hosting a Town wide celebration of World Water Day in March.
Our new “Curiosity Cubes” are in production thanks to grants from the Fountain Hills Community Foundation and the Arizona Historical Society. These stations are designed to house temporary exhibits and allow us to focus in more detail on the myriad stories that couldn’t be included in the limited space of our existing building. Docents and staff are currently working on “Fantastic Foragers”, an exhibit in support of our newest Exploration Experience and “Dr. Montezuma” in support of our lobby exhibit highlighting the work and life of one of the first Native American doctors and Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation members. Look for these new exhibits to be launched in the spring.
New Exploration Workshops Coming Soon!
In an effort to explore alternative methods of fundraising to create a financially sustainable organization we will be offering a series of workshops presented by local experts in the area of art, water conservation, and sustainable fashion. These small group experiences will allow participants to further explore areas of interest related to the River of Time mission and museum themes.
A Motivated Team
Operationally the River of Time is now led by a dynamic team of directors who are supported by an enthusiastic and talented Board of Directors. In 2022 we were able to add Linda McThrall in the staff position as the Director of Development and Outreach. Staff Administrative Assistant Yvonne Prater was promoted to her new position as Director of Operations. Both of these positions are integral to the operations and continued success and sustainability of the River of Time.
We are very excited to look ahead to some new opportunities in 2023 including more additions to our Exploration Experiences. We are working on possible overnight excursions and a water exploration series. With an increased focus on financial sustainability, there will be more opportunities for our members to realize the advantages of becoming donors. Our community outreach will focus on the Verdes and Fort McDowell, as we work to expand our reach into our communities.
I look forward to visiting with you in this New Year!