Strawbery Banke and NH Association for the Blind Partner on Interpretive Initiative

Portsmouth, New Hampshire (February 1, 2017) – As one of six beneficiaries, Strawbery Banke Museum is partnering again with another Roger R. & Theresa S. Thompson Foundation Fund grantees, the NH Association for the Blind.

Last November, Strawbery Banke introduced a group of vision-impaired adults to the hands-on architecture workshop  offered by the Education Department.

A group of seven celebrated a winter program on the ice at Labrie Family Skate today. On hand to assist were Crystal Skahan, adaptive recreation sports director from Northeast Passage at UNH and Douglas Webster, artistic director for Ice Dance International and the museum’s rink. Northeast Passage visits Labrie Family Skate every Wednesday afternoon from 1 to 2:30 pm to provide assistance for public adaptive recreation on the ice.

In the spring, the program shifts to Strawbery Banke's gardens as participants assist the Horticulture Department with the planting of annuals and an introduction to the new Botanical Sciences initiative. In the fall the NHAB group will participate in a Hearth-cooking workshop at Strawbery Banke.


"As an employee of the NH Association for the Blind who also happens to be blind, I understand the challenges of enjoying unique experiences and know that people in the Seacoast, who have varying degrees of vision loss would love to experience Strawbery Banke in a tactile-inclusive way, "said Stephanie Hurd, NH Association for the Blind. "We are thrilled that Strawbery Banke has moved so quickly and imaginatively to provide a variety of experiences that are appropriate and fitting for the group, understanding that those with vision loss may have unique questions and requests during their time." 


"In the past few years, Strawbery Banke has worked hard to make the 10-acre museum more accessible through the addition of ramps, participatory activities and partnerships," said Lawrence J. Yerdon, Strawbery Banke President and CEO. "The collaboration with the NH Association for the Blind enables all of us to see the campus in a different way and helps us appreciate how to create unique hands-on experiences that, in Ms. Hurd's words, 'allow for time to truly grasp the fully rich opportunities' here. The mutual connection with the Thompson Fund meant this initiative came together even more quickly than it might have."

About Strawbery Banke Museum (

Strawbery Banke Museum, on the historic Portsmouth, New Hampshire waterfront, is a 10-acre outdoor history museum dedicated to bringing 300+ years of American history to life through heritage gardens, historic buildings, traditional crafts, preservation programs, hands-on activities, stories told by costumed role-players and the changing exhibits that offer hours of fun and discovery for all ages.  A 501©3 non-profit, Strawbery Banke’s daily programs, exhibits, seasonal outdoor ice skating and signature special events throughout the year are made possible by members and by grants from Proulx Oil & Propane, R.M. Davis, CP Management, the NH State Council for the Arts, the NH Charitable Foundation, Lincoln Financial Group, the Institute of Library and Museum Services and many other individual and corporate donors.  For a complete calendar of events, please visit