The New York Transplant – From You Guys to Y’all

Published on Monday, February 10, 2014 By Melissa Prycer
It’s been 6 months since I made the spontaneous decision to pack my meager belongings and hightail it out of the bustling New York City to Dallas Heritage Village. Best decision I have ever made. This past May I graduated with a Masters in Museum Studies from New York University and was slowly being drained of my love for museums. I needed to get out. I always joked that I would take a job in Idaho just to get away from the fast pace, bottom of the ladder, barely paid existence I had been living. When I had seen the Reservations Coordinator post on the Texas Association of Museums website (which I checked daily) I was thrilled. Here was a job that I had an ample experience in, and not only was paid but somewhere thousands of miles away from the concrete jungle that  ..

Stepping Back…and Stepping Forward!

Published on Tuesday, February 04, 2014 By Melissa Prycer
(/images/postimages/130926_0015.jpg)After 18 years as president and executive director of Dallas Heritage Village, I have officially stepped back into a part-time role as director of strategic projects. In that new role I will now assist with capacity building fund raising and other projects at the Village, focusing first on the future of our property at 1610 South Ervay (formerly Yellow Cab), and later on endowment fund raising and planned giving. Succeeding me at Dallas Heritage Village is Melissa Prycer, who has been appointed Interim Executive Director by the Board of Trustees. Melissa has worked closely with me for many years, serving as educator and associate director and absorbing steadily increasing responsibility through the years. Well regarded both at the Village a ..

History Nerds Unite in Dallas

Published on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 By Melissa Prycer
This past Saturday, the secret society of Dallas historians gathered for our yearly convocation, the Legacies Dallas History Conference. We met at Dallas’ Federal Reserve Bank to eat breakfast sweets, buy rare books, tell each other insider history jokes, and listen to four brilliant presentations, plus mine which it would be immodest of me to call brilliant. Whether amateur historian or professional, or even a guest unfamiliar with our world, everyone had a good time. I learned so much, enough to make it worth being someplace at 8:00 AM on a cold Saturday morning. First, if you were considering robbing the Federal Reserve Bank, don’t do it. Their security is phenomenal. If you are pure of heart, they will let you in, to see the wonderful architecture and exhibit, wh ..

Heroes of the Historic House

Published on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 By Melissa Prycer
One of the benefits of working at the village is that our offices are in historic houses. As curator, I get a whole cottage all to myself. It has something to do with my habit of stacking accumulated stuff everywhere-I need a lot of space. For years, my house has been the ugliest office in the village, with peeling paint, holes in the siding, and places on the porch where I had to warn people not to step. Today it is the prettiest, thanks to the efforts of three preservation heroes, and to a job training program at the Stewpot, a resource center for homeless and at –risk individuals. Their Stewpot Transitional Employment Program, STEP, places clients in jobs where they can learn new skills. One thing we never have a shortage of around the village is jobs needing doing, so  ..

Welcome, Neighbor!

Published on Monday, September 16, 2013 By Melissa Prycer
When last we wrote about City Park Elementary School (, we mourned its closing. We were sad to lose our neighbors. We were sad that a huge building was sitting empty across the street from our entrance. And we soon came to deeply miss the sounds of kids playing on the playground. Earlier this summer, we heard a rumor that Vogel Alcove (, a non-profit that provides childcare for homeless children under the age of 5, was leasing the building from Dallas ISD. Once the rumor was confirmed, I reached out to Karen Hughes, their Executive Director, to welcome them to the neighborhood and find out more about their plans. City Park Elementary will be undergoing extensive renovations, as the exis ..

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