2012 Volunteer Reception Coverage

2012 Volunteer Reception

The U.S. Capitol Historical Society’s 12th Annual “Thank You” Reception took place on February 8th in the U.S. Capitol’s Mansfield Room. This event recognizes the dedication of our more than 100 volunteers who help with the full range of Society activities on a daily basis. Our volunteers are involved with many projects and programs throughout the year, such as the We the People Constitution Tours, Member Tours Program, assisting with large events, ongoing office work, and continuing research. Society volunteers include the USCHS Board of Trustees and Corporate Development Committee, which builds USCHS membership among corporations, association, and foundations, and these groups were recognized as well.

The evening began with a lively reception followed by welcoming remarks from Steve Livengood, Chief Guide and Director of Public Programs. Allie Swislocki, Development Associate, spoke about the impact of the Corporate Development Committee over the past year and their current fundraising goals; and Maggie Esteves, Manager, Membership Programs, discussed new volunteer opportunities during the coming year’s Combined Federal Campaign.

Our president, Ron Sarasin, spoke plans for the Society’s 50th anniversary this year, and introduced the evening’s speaker, Ms. Farar Elliott, Curator and Chief, Office of Art and Archives, U.S. House of Representatives.

Ms. Elliott spoke about her role as Curator and using unique perspectives to view objects and learn more about the people who created and used them. She focused on the paintings in the Capitol by Albert Bierstadt, originally hung temporarily in the U.S. House of Representatives Chamber, taken down, hung again later, and finally taken down when the House Chamber was remodeled in the late 1940s. Her story full illustrated how scientific inquiry and biography can bring to life more about an object than what meets the eye! Now the Bierstadt paintings have been restored and given a permanent place in the stairwell from the Capitol Visitor Center to the Rotunda in the east front of the Capitol, and each year the millions of Capitol visitors can see them up close.