Elfreth's Alley

Elfreth's Alley is one of the oldest continuously occupied residential streets in the United States and one of the only historic sites that tells the story of three centuries of working class Americans. I started working for the Elfreth's Alley Association in 2010 when the board was considering closing the museums and using the properties as apartments. In my tenure as Director we stopped that plan and revitalized the museum as an interpretive space for a variety of audiences.

 

As the Director I was responsible for everything. With almost no budget, I reinvigorated the organization and brought in new audiences to experience the history of working class Philadelphians from the 1700s through modern times. I did this by expanding the volunteer corps, utilizing social media marketing campaigns, and building a coalition of young professionals from the museum, art, design, architecture, performance, events, and marketing fields.  Beyond that, running this site was a learn-as-I-went education in development, exhibit design, maintenance, and operations. This role prepared me for more than I could have ever anticipated, and I continue to volunteer with the organization to this day.

 

To learn more about this historic site, please visit elfrethsalley.org.

First Fridays

One of my first programs at the Alley involved taking part in Old City's First Fridays. We kept the museum open late and hosted one-night popup galleries featuring local artists. The goal was to reach new audiences and increase museum attendance. Both of these goals were met, and this led to several new programs at the Alley.

One of my first programs at the Alley involved taking part in Old City's First Fridays. We kept the museum open late and hosted one-night popup galleries featuring local artists. The goal was to reach new audiences and increase museum attendance. Both of these goals were met, and this led to several new programs at the Alley.

Flyer Design
Flyer Design

With no marketing budget, I used a site similar to picmonkey to design flyers

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Brew Fest
Brew Fest

Elfreth's Alley resident Rob Kettell enjoying a beer with Tim Patton of St. Benjamin's Brewing

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First Friday Gallery
First Friday Gallery

Alternate hanging methods to avoid damaging the walls

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Brew Fest Logo
Brew Fest Logo

With no marketing budget, I used a site similar to picmonkey to design flyers

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Featured Artist
Featured Artist

With featured artist Rebecca Frankum

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A Younger Crowd
A Younger Crowd

A view of the crowd from the roof

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Brew Fest

Patrick is a great non-profit manager. Because he has many years of experience in the museum sector, he knows how to organize, motivate and challenge part-time associates, docents and board members. His upbeat personality encourages visitors to The Museum of Elfreth’s Alley feel intrigued and curious about our nation’s history. Patrick’s organization of school tours and special events on Elfreth’s Alley has helped the house museum financially, and made it appealing to new demographics. It is a pleasure to work with Pat.

Laura Rock, Elfreth's Alley Association Board Member 

Building upon the success of First Fridays, I wanted to host more adult programming at the Alley. The first Brew Fest was a major success, quickly selling out and featuring funsies like a homebrew competition, local beer, food from City Tavern, and beermaking talks with St. Benjamin's Brewery. The second year, we moved down the street to a venue with double the capacity for the Speakeasy Costume Ball. That event also sold out, featuring 1920s dance lessons, a discussion about modern-day prohibition in Philadelphia, and a partnership with the National Constitution Center as they prepared to open their American Spirits exhibit.

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 WITTWERING: 

 

Verb. 1) Pertaining to the behavior of being a Wittwer. 2) Doing odd things that only Wittwers would do. 3) Catchall phrase for the thoughts and actions of Patrick Wittwer.