Schoonmaker Hall


Newport, R.I. – The Sailing Museum, home of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, is celebrating the end of a successful year – the first full year in its new space, the historic Armory Building in the heart of Newport, Rhode Island.

Anticipating a period of growth in the near future, the leadership and management team of The Sailing Museum has grown to accommodate the vision of the board. Ashley Householder was promoted to serve as Executive Director and Erika Holshoe was hired as Communications and Marketing Manager. Most recently, Jared Casci joined as Administrator and Volunteer Coordinator, Kelly Connell filled a new position as Special Events Manager and Michelle Zachary took the new role of Development and Membership Manager.

Thanks to a generous donation from the Schoonmaker Foundation to support the mission of The Sailing Museum and the National Sailing Hall of Fame, the exhibition hall was named in honor of James “Ding” Schoonmaker (Class of 2018). In a ceremony held on September 21st, the Museum celebrated the dedication of Schoonmaker Hall.

This fall, the National Sailing Hall of Fame welcomed its 13th annual class of inductees with a coast-to-coast celebration. Festivities were hosted in Newport Beach, California, in partnership with Balboa Yacht Club and the Newport Harbor Yacht Club.

Additionally, The Sailing Museum launched a collaborative educational program with New England Science and Sailing (NESS), an innovative program to promote STEAM learning. As part of the curriculum for sixth graders at Thompson Middle School, the children are learning about teamwork, leadership skills and STEAM concepts. Lessons were designed specifically around The Sailing Museum’s exhibits and include weather and climate, building a boat, simple machines, navigation and stewardship. The program is held both at the school and The Sailing Museum in an eight-week course and will continue to be held for sixth graders in the years to come. 

“It’s been an extremely exciting year for us here at the Museum and the Hall of Fame,” said Householder. “We’ve seen a lot of change and a lot of growth, and our institution is stronger than ever before. We’re looking forward to next year, where we hope to make even greater strides toward fulfilling our mission of honoring the heritage of sailing and engaging the community with the world of this dynamic sport.”

In 2024, the Museum has plans to unveil brand-new exhibits and offer a larger calendar of events and programs.