WLT Inc. is a federally recognized 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, established to research, collect, and disseminate information relating to the history, preservation, production, and promotion of Roadside Vernacular Architecture known as World's Largest Things.
We collect stories of rural communities who have chosen to erect a World's Largest Thing, which often serves as a key to understanding community identity. We collect these stories through photo-documentation of the sites and primary and secondary research, and share the stories and images with the rest of the world through articles, lectures, community programs, home website and associated online blog and image archives. These community icons and their stories are used in an effort to promote economic development in the represented communities through tourism, community-building, aid in marketing or branding of their community, and renewed interest in rural life.
One of our major educational outreach tools is a Mobile Museum which houses photographs and stories of these rural communities as illustrated through their World's Largest Thing. The museum also holds the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things, which features miniature replicas of World's Largest Things, used as a catalyst for sharing these unique community profiles. The interactive nature of the museum speaks to all ages, and creates an atmosphere conducive to learning in a unique, approachable way. We liken the WLCoWSVoWLT Mobile Museum to a cross between the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and a Bookmobile.
We recently retired the old Mobile Museum, and are embarking on the development of a new, expanded mobile educational unit. As the collection has grown, we outgrew the original grassroots version. We need help in developing a fundraising campaign package, for use in presentations to potential corporate and foundation sponsors.
The nuts-and-bolts operations of World's Largest Things has been supported mainly by volunteer hours (we have no paid staff), with memberships covering costs for membership letters, website maintenance, and grants funding specific projects. We simply do not have the capacity to develop a professional campaign with our current volunteer personnel, and cannot expand our capacity without sponsorship of the current project.
We are looking for an information packet that will explain the concept of the museum, showcase the plans for new Mobile Museum development, and make the case for sponsorship of the project. The 'hook' is there with the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things, while the importance of the project to sustaining rural culture through the sharing of the stories is harder to convey. We need help in presenting this fun concept in a serious way to people who have the resources to fund the development.
We feel that our project examines an important port of our national identity, which is rapidly disappearing. The preservation of these icons doesn't quite fit into the established preservation programs, even though the communities that create and care for them know the importance of their World's Largest Things. Through the increased awareness of these unique monuments and the stories behind them, we act as a catalyst for economic development and rural renewal, as well as documenting a marginalized section of roadside culture.
Thank you for your consideration, and please, don't hesitate to contact us for more information.
-Erika Nelson, Director
World's Largest Things, Inc., home of the World's Largest Colleciton of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things.