Annual Report to Donors

President and Executive Director's Letter

Clifford Fleet

Telling Stories:  A Letter from the President

The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation stands as an educational beacon, enriching our fellow Americans and people around the world by telling stories of our nation’s early history.

In the pages of this Annual Report, we celebrate fiscal year 2019 as the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc.’s most successful fundraising year in its history, with private fundraising efforts totaling more than $4.8 million. We look to the future of the Foundation and its two living-history museums, Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.

As one chapter in the Foundation’s history comes to a close, we reflect with gratitude on the dedicated service of Philip G. Emerson, who led the Foundation through three decades of tremendous growth, retiring from his position on December 31, 2019. I invite you to read about Phil’s legacy and contributions on the last page of this report. With great excitement, our boards and staff welcome Christy S. Coleman as the new Executive Director of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation beginning January 21, 2020.

Generous gifts from our Annual Fund donors, as well as major gifts from foundations, corporations, individuals, and planned gifts to our endowment helped us deliver our educational mission and tell the stories of Jamestown and the American Revolution to half-a-million visitors and schoolchildren this past year. Our success rests on the foundation of a strong public-private partnership that enables us to engage visitors each day at our museums, offer enlightening special exhibitions, and educate students with interactive, curriculum-based programs.

Jamestown Settlement, with its renewed permanent galleries completed in 2019, now tells the story of the Jamestown colony with new artifacts, an experiential theater, immersive technology, and a fresh perspective. At the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, the ongoing “Forgotten Soldier” special exhibition explores the experiences of African Americans who lived through the Revolution. Our special exhibitions at both museums broaden our perspectives and expand our view of American history through the lenses of many cultures.

The story of Jamestown is not just a Virginia story, it is an American story that belongs to us collectively and that we share with our fellow citizens. During calendar year 2019, our partnership with the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution, elevated this story to national audiences and focused a spotlight on Jamestown as the founding of our country’s narrative.

As we tell the stories of colonial Virginia at Jamestown Settlement and at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, our own story continues. We close this most successful fundraising year and reflect on the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution, and its legacies to Jamestown, and we look to the future.

Having proudly served as President of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc. for more than five years, I now bid you farewell as I step down from this role, having recently been named President and CEO of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. I look forward to continuing a strong partnership between the Foundations as we preserve America’s past together.

We cannot wait for our story to continue, for its next chapter to begin. We thank you for being a part of it.

Clifford B. Fleet

Clifford B. Fleet                                                                      
Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc.