Eli Whitney Museum
915 Whitney Ave
Hamden CT 06517
Contact Information
Address 915 Whitney Ave
Hamden, CT 06517-
Telephone (203) 777-1833 x
Fax 203-777-1229
E-mail manager@eliwhitney.org
Web and Social Media

The Eli Whitney Museum is an experimental, hands-on, learning workshop for students, teachers and families. We collect, interpret and teach experiments that are the roots of design and invention.

At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1977
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
CEO/Executive Director William Brown
Board Chair David Lewin
Board Chair Company Affiliation Yale University
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years

The Eli Whitney Museum is an experimental, hands-on, learning workshop for students, teachers and families. We collect, interpret and teach experiments that are the roots of design and invention.


The Eli Whitney Museum was established in 1979 on the site where Whitney transformed American manufacturing in 1798. Whitney’s workshop was a laboratory for invention. The Museum is an experimental learning workshop. It collects and exhibits, not objects, but the ways in which objects are made, and the ways through which objects educate. A central goal of the Museum's programs is to promote pluralism in learning. We identify and support students who express themselves most eloquently, not with words, but with their hands. We believe invention draws no lines between math, science, literacy, art, history, and geography. The Museum will produce and teach 75,000 projects for children from Connecticut and beyond this year. The scope and scale of these programs unrivaled even by much larger institutions.


Accomplishments 2013:

1. In an uncertain economy, we sustained our programming and found modest growth.

2.  We made our accounts, program registration, and communication 80% paperless.

3. We have increased our in-school presence across the state - particularly in urban school systems - with growing enrichment programs and weekend family programs.  

Goals 2014

1. We will give our work a new voice in our Design Blog, with submissions from past and present apprentices who keep our eye on fresh design and technology.

2. In our Apprentice Program we will test the efficacy of training with new measures, including leadership, design, and skills workshops and benchmarks.

3. We will expand the depth and scope of our Resident Artisans project.

4. We will expand our catalog of cultural programs.

5. We will expand the role of our CNC Shopbot and continue to redesign projects to increase accessibility for national markets.


The Museum's five most pressing needs this year are:
1. Support for Apprentice Training and Development 
2. Support for Design and Development of new programs for Vacation and Summer Workshop
3. Sponsorships and In Kind Donations for this year's Leonardo Challenge
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Museums
Areas Served
State wide
East Haven
Lower Naugatuck Valley
New Haven
North Branford
North Haven
West Haven
The Eli Whitney Museum serves over 65 towns and cities in Connecticut.  Most children, students, and families are from the Greater New Haven region.
Description From September through May, the Eli Whitney Museum Workshop offers unique on-site or in-school educational programs. The current catalog contains more than 50 programs for elementary and middle-school students.  Alternatively, teachers can work with Museum staff to design a program that meet the specific needs of their students.  With the school programs, the Museum sees students from 66 towns and cities all over Connecticut.  Teachers book Museum programs to meet curriculum needs, and to offer experiential learning opportunities for students.  The programs offered touch a variety of subjects:  from force and motion, design and invention, and sound and light, to natural history, cultural projects from around the world, Connecticut history, and social studies.  Most programs coincide with the Connecticut Curriculum Standards. 
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) / /
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. Students will have increased knowledge of the unit they are studying in school, which coincides with the content of the program they are involved in at the Museum.  Additionally, students work on vocabulary, motor skills, creativity, and in some cases, working in teams.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. Program Success is monitored by student and teacher satisfaction, and a survey sent out to teachers at the end of every school year, that monitors the impact the Museum's programs have on the students during the time that they are here.
Description Each year, the Museum's educators, visiting artists, and apprentices design roughly 60 new programs for a series of week-long summer workshops for children ages 5-15.  The programs focus on design, invention, building, storytelling, art, architecture, history, and culture. Each summer, the Museum has approximately 8,250 kid/days, with children hailing from 71 towns and cities across Connecticut.
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) / /

Roughly sixty five apprentices, age 13-18, receive stipends for work in design, production, and teaching of the thousands of projects and programs run by the Museum each year. Most apprentices begin at age 13, and work four years in the program, or log enough hours to be the equivalent of 1 ½ years of high school. Typically, the apprentices work about 200 hours during the school year on weekends, and up to 400 hours each summer during the Museum’s ten weeks of Summer Programs. All of the apprentices are trained by the well-established designers, artisans, and artists that teach or contribute to Museum programming. The apprentices also try their hand at teaching; running birthday parties and leading tables during the summer allow them to interact with diverse groups of children ranging in age from 5 to 12 or 13. From designing to drilling and packing projects, the apprentices play an essential role in the programs the Museum delivers.

Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) / /
Description During the school year, the Museum offers day-long programs to enrich the hours of school holidays.  Programs coincide with one-day holidays including Columbus Day, Veterans' Day, and Presidents Day, as well as week-long February and April Breaks that the majority of local school systems take.  Much like the Museum's Summer Programs, the Vacation programs focus on a variety of topics, skills, and themes.  Vacation Programs are offered to children ages 6-12. 
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) / /
CEO/Executive Director
William Brown
Term Start Sept 1984
Email wb@eliwhitney.org
  • Directs all aspects of the Museum and designs and teaches core workshops.
  • Runs the apprentice program.
  • Designer, Educator, Social Worker.
  • Trained in child development at Columbia University.
Sally Hill
Term Start Sept 1984
Email sh@eliwhitney.org
  • Associate Director, Exhibit Designer, Graphic Designer.
  • Director of EWM summer program.
  • Trained in design at Yale.
Number of Full Time Staff 7
Number of Part Time Staff 85
Number of Volunteers 0
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate 83%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 8
Asian American/Pacific Islander 5
Caucasian 73
Hispanic/Latino 6
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 49
Female 43
Unspecified 0
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Board Chair
David Lewin
Company Affiliation Yale University
Term Sept 2016 to Oct 2019
Board of Directors
Kathy CookeQuinnipiac University
Eric EpsteinEpstein Design
Alex Esdaile
Ray FairYale University
Lynn Kirshbaum
Meghan Knight
Stephen Latham
JR Logan
Kerry Lord
Alexandra Mahler Haug
Normand MethotRetired
Frank MitchellMuseum Consultant
Zach MorowitzCEO Performance Partners
Alan PlattusYale University
Anna Ramirez
Mary Schwab Stone
Dan Velazquez
James WhitneyWhitney, Cooper, Cochran & Francois Attorneys at Law
Kiran Zaman
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 14
Hispanic/Latino 2
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 12
Female 8
Standing Committees
Board Development / Board Orientation
Fiscal Year Start Sept 01 2018
Fiscal Year End Aug 31 2019
Projected Revenue $1,153,500.00
Projected Expenses $1,168,594.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$2,364,520$2,492,582$2,453,658
Current Assets$293,681$317,386$262,617
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$53,846$89,296$38,478
Total Net Assets$2,310,674$2,403,286$2,415,180
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountBuck Family Foundaiton $70,000Buck Family Foundation $75,000 --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountSmart Family Foundation $18,000Smart Family Foundation $33,500 --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountBaird Foundation $10,000The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven $20,500 --
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
Foundation Staff Comments This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Some financial information from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved has been inputted by Foundation staff. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. A more complete picture of the organization’s finances can be obtained by viewing the attached 990s and audited financials. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address 915 Whitney Ave
Hamden, CT 06517
Primary Phone 203 777-1833
Contact Email manager@eliwhitney.org
CEO/Executive Director William Brown
Board Chair David Lewin
Board Chair Company Affiliation Yale University


Related Information

Support Arts & Culture

Greater New Haven is home to a thriving arts community that includes theatre, music, dance and the visual arts. It is invested in its museums, historic preservation and the celebration of its members’ ethnic and cultural diversity.