Crossroads annual meeting highlights progress, 250th planning

More than 50 friends of New Jersey history attended Crossroads of the American Revolution Association’s annual meeting at Thomas Edison State University on March 27 to learn more about the organization’s 2018 projects and 2019 plans.

Board Chair Ira Jersey and Executive Director Janice Selinger also reviewed ongoing work toward commemorations of the 250th anniversary of American independence. Crossroads is currently assessing proposals from consulting firms to perform visitor readiness assessments on New Jersey’s Revolutionary-era historic sites, which will help determine fundraising targets for necessary site work. At the same time, Crossroads is working to form a campaign council to help attract the significant funding that’s anticipated will be needed to prepare sites to welcome an influx of visitors.

Selinger noted that work is already underway to help historic groups make their sites and programs even more authentic for visitors. She noted last year’s professional development sessions with insights, demonstrations and hands-on instruction in aspects of 18th century life. She also highlighted several ongoing Crossroads programs, including our annual Revolutionary Spirit Night hosted by the Somerset Patriots professional baseball team and our signage program that’s bringing common branding to historic sites across the state.

The assembled group also learned more about Crossroads’ year-long program to help fourth-grade students at Trenton’s Martin Luther King Jr. School discover Revolutionary War history in their own neighborhoods. This included a viewing of NJTV’s Classroom Closeup feature on the students’ visit to the Old Barracks Museum.

New Jersey Historical Commission Chair Dr. Maxine Lurie highlighted planned work on U.S. history curricula in the state’s schools. She also shared perspectives on her research into the divided loyalties of New Jersey residents during the Revolution, observing that the divisions of the past offer interesting perspective on public opinion in more recent times.

NJ Historical Commission Chair Dr. Maxine Lurie

Trustees elected, retired

In its quarterly meeting before the annual meeting session, the Crossroads board also elected four new trustees. Steve Ayscue is president of Checkmate Advisors, a political and corporate strategic research firm. Amy Cradic is vice president – government affairs and policy for New Jersey Resources. Jeff Kaszerman is vice president, government relations for the New Jersey Society of CPAs. Victoria Magliacane is senior vice president at Investors Bank.

Incumbent trustees John Hardiman, Chris Paladino and Laura Szwak were elected to new three-year terms. The board also expressed its gratitude to retiring trustees Linda Kellner and Pat Ryan.

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