If you are reading this, chances are you subscribe to the museum’s weekly e-newsletter, and have seen hundreds of stories about the museum delivered right to your inbox.

What you may not have realized is that many of these stories, wide-ranging as they seem (from the launch of our first app to an outreach education program at Shriners Hospital for Children), are bound by a common thread. It’s a thing called the Annual Fund, our name for the general pool of funds donated by loyal patrons and members who give a little something to the museum each year.

With Nov. 29 designated #GivingTuesday, today we pay homage to these donors by revisiting past stories about things that were made possible by Annual Fund donations. We picked one story for each of the five categories that the Annual Fund supports.

  • Supporting education programs for children and adults: In March, we reported on teaching artist Jenna Cook’s special project at Shriners in Making a difference: Jenna Cook takes Art to Go beyond the classroom. It’s hard not to smile when Cook says, “There are times when kids come in to the rec center and exclaim ‘We’re having art today?’ and I can see the color return to their faces. This program really helps these kids get through difficult situations.”
  • Providing professional support for Hawai‘i’s educators: Due to its close proximity to HoMA and special needs as a Title 1 school, Queen Ka‘ahumanu Elementary School is a regular recipient of museum outreach. We’ve written about teaching artists demonstrating for QKE teachers the ways that science—in the form of mosquitoes and caterpillars—can be taught through art.

    Teaching artist Jordan  taking a botanical approach to teach Mrs. Bernadette Thul's class at QKE.

    Teaching artist Jordan Koffman uses botany to teach art to Mrs. Bernadette Thul’s class at QKE.

  • Free and low-cost programming: Where to start? We’ve covered more than a few events and exhibitions, from free lectures and films for youth under the age of 17, to daily docent-led tours and groundbreaking exhibitions. In light of Thanksgiving (and the current DAPL crisis), it seems appropriate to reflect on the loaned work Dead Indian Stories by Edgar Heap of Birds, who gave us an in-depth interview in January.

    Edgar Heap of Birds with 'Dead Indian Stories'

    Edgar Heap of Birds with ‘Dead Indian Stories’

  • Preservation and conservation: Last week’s success story about two Renaissance masterpieces is just one example of the museum’s crucial conservation work that the Annual Fund helps support. Here’s conservators Larry and Rie Pace unveiling Piero di Cosimo’s St. John the Evangelist after treatment:

  • Operation and maintenance of our celebrated and historic buildings: Both of the museum’s landmark buildings and grounds require a lot of TLC, and we are also constantly looking for ways to upgrade the visitor experience. The 2015 renovation of the museum’s Central Courtyard is a good example. Out went the thick hedges surrounding the stage and in went flowerbeds, while the peripheral entrances gained beautiful new mosaic-like sandstone inlays. The facelift refreshed the whole look of the courtyard, immediately signaling to guests this is a special place.

Feeling the season’s giving spirit? Read more about the Annual Fund and ways to donate here.