Funds will be used to Develop a Public Museum and Theatre Education Center on the Grounds of Highland Farm
The nonprofit Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theatre Education Center (OHMTEC) has been awarded $500,000 in Pennsylvania state funding through the Redevelopment Assistance Capitol Program (RACP). RACP is a commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects.
The Museum will use the funding to purchase, restore, and preserve Oscar Hammerstein II’s former home and workplace at Highland Farm in Doylestown. The goal is to create a multifaceted and dynamic museum experience, with a strong theatre education component, that will serve as a place of inspiration for Broadway fans and humanitarians alike, from Hammerstein’s backyard and across the world.
“We are extremely grateful to Senator Sentarsiero and the state for this grant. Preserving Highland Farm, the homestead and creative epicenter where Oscar Hammerstein II wrote the lyrics to some of the world’s most noted and performed songs, is essential for Bucks County, for Pennsylvania and for our country,” said Greg Roth, President of the OHMTEC Board of Directors. Speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors, current Highland Farm owner Christine Cole, and all of the organization’s supporters and advocates, Roth continued, “Oscar Hammerstein’s themes of inclusion and acceptance are as relevant today as they were 80 years ago when he penned them. The Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theater Education Center will provide a place for enthusiasts and visitors to be inspired and a place for children from all over the world to have an opportunity to learn about musical theater and pursue their musical theater passions and interests.”
“I have been working with the Oscar Hammerstein Museum and all of our local museums here in Bucks County throughout the pandemic to help ensure they come out on the other side of this stronger than before,” said Sen. Santarsiero. “These state funds to help restore and redevelop this iconic property will allow the public to visit the space that inspired some of the most classic American musicals like Oklahoma, South Pacific and Sound of Music.”
Oscar and his wife, Dorothy, lived with their family at Highland Farm in Doylestown for the last 20 years of his life. This is the place where he forged his legendary partnership with Richard Rodgers and that inspired many of their great musical works, including The Sound of Music, Carousel, The King and I, Showboat, Oklahoma! and South Pacific. It is also the place where Hammerstein mentored a young Stephen Sondheim, and where he contributed to society by increasing our awareness of social issues and the need for tolerance of diversity.
The Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theatre Education Center has been raising funds to support the non-profit’s ongoing vision to secure the Highland Farm property and realize the dream of a museum and theatre education center on the side of Oscar’s home. Fundraising success will allow the non-profit to secure, renovate, and preserve Highland Farm, the Hammerstein property located at 70 East Road in the heart of Doylestown, and convert the home and barn into a Museum and Theatre Education Center. The initial fundraising target, which will secure the property and ensure its preservation into the future, has been set at $2 million.
As part of current fundraising efforts, members of the Executive Board are offering a 100% match for all gifts through December 31st. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides unique opportunities to maximize the benefits of charitable giving this year. Donors are advise to consult with their financial professionals to determine how the CARES Act may apply to them. Donations of any amount are welcome and can be made by check, credit card or appreciated securities. Special naming opportunities are also available. Please contact Christine Junker, Treasurer, for details at firstname.lastname@example.org. To contribute to the effort to #SaveOscarsHome, please visit www.HammersteinMuseum.org.