Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum Welcomes New Executive Director

POUGHKEEPSIE, September 10, 2012 – The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum is pleased to welcome Lara Litchfield-Kimber as its new executive director.  Litchfield-Kimber comes to the museum from Ithaca, NY, where she served as deputy director of the Sciencenter, a hands-on museum that inspires excitement for science through interactive exhibits and programs that engage, educate and empower.Lara Litchfield-Kimber

“In her eight years at the Sciencenter, Lara transformed its fundraising program, oversaw profound growth in the museum programming, budget and staffing, and created several high-impact collaborative partnerships both locally and nationally,” shares Bill Francis, vice-chair of the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum board of trustees, who served as chair of the executive director search committee. “Lara is the complete package, bringing to this position demonstrated non-profit leadership skills, as well as the museum programming and development experience we were seeking in order to elevate the museum’s influence and connectivity throughout the Mid-Hudson region and beyond.”

It is this potential for increased community engagement that most attracted Litchfield-Kimber to the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum.  “Children’s museums – especially in smaller cities – have a tremendous opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of the families they serve,” she says.  “In addition to providing children with a venue for lively, age-appropriate engagement in which they can develop cognitively, emotionally and socially, the best children’s museums also embrace their roles as a valued community resource for parents, caregivers and early childhood educators.” 

Litchfield-Kimber will be responsible for leading the development and implementation of a new strategic plan for the museum, building on recent work in this area, and for evaluating existing exhibits and educational programs, current community needs, and the potential for developing collaborative partnerships with other organizations.   In the role of executive director, she will also have financial oversight of museum operations, will be responsible for growing museum resources through earned, contributed and grant income, and will provide administrative oversight for all museum programs, staff and volunteers.

Steve Loehr, Chair of the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum’s board of trustees, enthusiastically endorses the selection of Litchfield-Kimber as the museum’s new executive director.  “It was clear to everyone who met Lara as part of the search process that she brings the vision and leadership skills we need as we look to shift from ‘nice to have around’ to an essential organizational player in our regional community.”  He continues, “Lara has a great deal of experience in orchestrating transformational change in museums and in growing relationships among core audiences and organizational stakeholders.” 

In her role at the Sciencenter, Litchfield-Kimber was an active participant in both the science and children’s museums fields through conferences, special presentations, collaborative partnerships and mentorship programs.  In 2010, she was selected as one of eighteen international museum leaders to be a Noyce Leadership Fellow, in a program supported by the Association of Science-Technology Centers in Washington, D.C, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Noyce Foundation.  

Litchfield-Kimber brings to the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum many established professional connections from in and around the museum field.  “There is great interest among my museum colleagues in forging new partnerships with the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum in the areas of early literacy, environmental science, school-readiness, and health and wellness.  The potential to partner with other museum leaders, exhibit specialists and educators from around the country will help to transform our museum offerings and will directly benefit to the families in our region.

Linda Sweet, with Management Consultants for the Arts in Stamford, CT conducted the search for the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum’s new executive director.   Ms. Sweet identified potential candidates from a national pool and worked closely with a search committee comprised of both members of the board of trustees of the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum and leaders from other regional organizations during the selection process and hiring process.

The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum enlightens minds in a fun and creative learning environment where hands-on experiences spark curiosity, discovery and the joy of exploration. The museum offers a rich blend of interactive exhibits, programs and activities in art, science, and local history and culture.  Located on the historic Hudson River waterfront in Poughkeepsie, NY and adjacent to the Metro North train station, the museum welcomes over 30% of its visitors from outside Dutchess County.  The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30am to 5:00pm and Sundays from 11:00am to 5:00pm.  Admission is $7.50 per person.  Children under 1 year are free.  For membership information, current programs and activities, please visit www.mhcm.org

Mid-Hudson Children's Museum

75 North Water Street

Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

845.471.0589

Fax: 845.471.0415

info@mhcm.org