By Seth Daniel
The Charlestown-based after-school program e-inc has come a long way from operating an inventive program for kids out of an empty apartment in a housing development along Medford Street some 14 years ago, but now they are ready to take an even bigger step in converting most of their building in the Navy Yard to a museum.
Dr. Ricky Stern of e-inc said last week that the organization is now fully committed to renovating their space slowly and holding their first museum exhibit on climate and weather in January. The museum will occupy about three-quarters of the large, beautiful space in the Dorry Boat Building on 16th Street, with about one-quarter of the space built out to continue housing the base for their citywide after-school programs.
The museum concept will officially roll out at a fundraiser on Weds., Nov. 9, called the e-inc Shakin’ for Science Museum Benefit, taking place from 6-10 p.m. in their 16th Street building.
“We had talked in the past about having a museum space here, but a lot of things happened in that vein last year to make that vision doable,” said Stern. “The biggest thing was we forged a partnership with this museum in Chicago that is part of the Chicago Academy of Sciences…I got the call and they asked if we would host an exhibit. A couple of things happened after that. I went to Denmark and saw this museum space with science exhibits. It was in a very raw space, but it was very effective. I decided this could be raw too. We will clean it up and make it look good, but it can still be a bit of a raw space. They are partnering with us and sending us our first exhibit. It’s coming in January if all goes well.”
The exhibit is very large and travels the country. It is based on climate, weather, habitats and other science-related issues that e-inc already stresses in its ecology-based after school programs and summer camps.
She said it will be a great opportunity to see an exhibit that they could have never done themselves.
“If we were to have had done this ourselves, it would have cost a fortune and would have been hard to pull off,” she said. “Because we are their partner, they bring it to us for a song.”
The idea will be to bring in two classrooms a day for four hours, and schools are open to signing up for the trip with e-inc. The museum show will be for grades 3-7 and will fit in with most of the after school programming curriculum already in place.
“We are opening and I’m hoping that lends us the gravitas we deserve,” she said. “We’re been at it a long time. We know what we are doing and this will help us teach other things. It’s important for us to open in January so our (agreement with Mass General) is marked off. This is a lovely space. It’s a tourist attraction at the edge of the area. We’re devoted to that.”
The exhibit will remain open until July, 2017.
e-inc has grown from offering after-school programs and school curriculum programs in a few schools, to now being in 13 schools citywide – using their Charlestown home as a base of operations and as a headquarters for their very popular summer camps.