Historical society taking steps to improve

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck Historical Society hopes to improve with the help of a mentoring program.

The historical society is one of 24 museums that have been accepted into StEPS-CT, a two year program created by Connecticut Humanities with the Connecticut League of History Organizations and run in partnership with the Connecticut Historical Society. StEPS-CT stands for Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations in Connecticut.

The program, which runs from 2015 through 2017, provides guidance and mentorship to help create a vision and direction for the future of historical organizations, Naugatuck Historical Society Secretary Bridget Mariano said.

The program officially started this week with a workshop on the museum’s mission and how it is governed, Mariano said. The program will also focus on how the organization interacts with local history, the stewardship of the organization’s collection, the stewardship of historical structures and landscapes, and management, she said.

Mariano said the program helps organizations focus on one area at a time over the length of the program.

“That’s why there are these different standards; you do one standard at a time so you can do a good analysis and are concentrating on one area at a time. It provides a roadmap for the organization for improvement, to get stronger, and become more vibrant,” Mariano said.

Mariano said the Naugatuck Historical Society applied for the program because it wanted to better serve its patrons and the community.

“We are very excited about it,” Mariano said. “We always want to improve. We want to be able to improve our organization and always reevaluate what our mission is and how we serve the public.”

Mariano said the historical society hopes to become a stronger, more viable organization by enrolling in the program.

“This program will mentor us and give us the experience and skills to be able to do those things. Basically what you want is to improve how you serve the community you are in,” Mariano said.

Mariano said the program will also help the organization as it prepares for its next phase in the borough.

The historical society will move from the Naugatuck Train Station on Water Street to the Tuttle House on Church Street once the Board of Education relocates its central office to Naugatuck High School.

“It is a great time for us because we are transferring to another building and we are looking at a lot of mentorship and a lot of help in that process,” Mariano said.