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Westport Historical Society: Name to Become History

The Westport Historical Society, long keeper of Westport’s history, is about to become history itself, at least in name.

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The venerable institution headquartered since 1981 in a 1795-built house on Avery Place opposite Town Hall from Sept. 28 will become known as Westport Museum For History & Culture.

The change will coincide with the opening of its newest exhibit, “Becoming Westport,” which will follow Westport’s history from a colonial settlement through the 20th century.

The date is also the Westport Museum’s benefit dinner “Night at the Museum” that will feature celebrity chef Chris Scott and CNN anchor and Westport resident Alisyn Camerota.

There will also be live music, costumed interpreters and a silent auction of what an announcement described as “uniquely Westport experiences.”

The name change has been in the works for several years as part of a strategic planning process, the announcement said.

It said the WHS board voted on the change in 2017 but held off “until after some milestones had been reached.”

The name change follows a trend of numerous similar organizations in Connecticut, including Fairfield and Stamford as well as around the country, said Ramin Ganeshram, executive director.

The name change also follows on a rebranding of the Westport Arts Center as Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) and its move from Riverside Avenue to a much larger home on Newtown Turnpike.

‘The new name more adequately represents the work the Museum is doing daily to fulfill our mission to inspire the holistic discovery of our town’s history inclusive of our collective heritage and its place in the larger American story,” said Sara Krasne, board chair.

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