Meet the Member: Andover Center for History & Culture
Elaine Clements: Andover Center for History & Culture
In your words... Tell us about your organization, business, initiative.
Andover Center for History & Culture’s mission is to strengthen our community by bringing people together around Andover’s stories. Our community is as close as our neighbors on Main Street, Andover, and as far away, well, just about anywhere. Our community is anyone who is inspired by history and stories from the past, and the way history can inform, guide, and shape our present and future.
The History Center’s home is the 1820s Amos Blanchard House at 97 Main Street in beautiful downtown Andover. You can visit the History Center Tuesdays through Saturdays 10:00am to 4:00pm.
Find out about programs, events, and other happenings on our website.
Follow us on Facebook, or on Instagram andoverhistoryculture.
Download our Virtual Andover app to explore Andover’s stories wherever you are!
The Andover Center for History & Culture was founded in 1911 as the Andover Historical Society. In 2018, we changed the name to one that is a description of our work and mission. History remains at the heart of everything we do. We gather and share Andover’s stories, we steward a collection of over 50,000 items from Andover’s past, and care for our 200 year old house and barn.
The History Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, supported by generous donors, members, and program income. Please consider a donation or becoming a member to be a part of our mission and our community.
Tell us a bit about you and why you do what you do? Share your passions for your business, initiative, organization.
I love to find a good story (like these!). The best days are those when I get to follow the thread of a story, or get lost following side stories that pop up along the way. I love learning new things and discovering stories from the past that inform and shape my own decision making. We’re not the first people who walked these streets, gathered in these places, and lived lives, and we can learn from their experiences.
If that’s my joy, my passion is sharing stories and the opportunity to learn new stories with our community. Getting to see that “ah-ha” moment on someone’s face when they learn about something new makes me happy, and makes me want to do this even more!
What role do you think your business plays in supporting a more creative community? OR your community in general. (Bonus! Why do you think a more creative community is important?)
The role Andover Center for History & Culture plays in supporting a more creative community is by inspiring inquiry, curiosity, and creative thinking. Adding “culture” to our name opens us up to new opportunities to include arts, performance, and culture in our work.
What was the last book you read OR What was the last video you watched that made an impact on you?
While puttering around my house recently, I listened to whatever random TedTalks came up next in the YouTube algorithm. I learned so much! So many surprising, unexpected things that made me think, question, and reflect.
What’s the one thing people would be surprised to learn about you our your business?
I’ve been the director of the History Center since 2002. A lot of changes have happened over those years and I’m honored that so many people trusted me when I said, “I have this crazy idea…”
I also sew clothes for myself and my family (including my husband's dress shirts) and just getting into tailoring and couture techniques.