Portland, April 3rd, 2013. After a nationwide search and rigorous interview process, the board of Portland Children’s Museum is pleased to announce Ruth Shelly of Madison Children’s Museum as its new executive director.
“We are pleased to introduce and welcome Ruth as we look forward to an exciting new chapter in the life of the Portland Children’s Museum,” said Board President Shawn DuBurg. “Ruth is a lifetime advocate of locally focused organizational development, museum education, and outdoor play. She is enthusiastic about leading Portland Children’s Museum into its next decade of community service, and we are thrilled to have her as our next leader.”This announcement is the result of a thorough search, led by committed community leaders and board members. Interim Executive Director Carrie Hoops has led the organization since November 2013, and will facilitate the transition. Shelly will officially assume her new duties in mid-May, and friends and supporters of the Museum will have a chance to meet her on Saturday, May 11, at the Museum’s Be a Kid Again gala.“Portland Children’s Museum, the Opal School, and the Museum Center for Learning create a powerful combination that has the potential to demonstrate a new model of education for lifelong learners,” Shelly said. “The Museum’s location in beautiful Washington Park, enhanced by the prospect of its new Outdoor Adventure exhibit area, provides exciting opportunities to get kids outside for healthy physical and cognitive development. I look forward to working with the board, staff, and volunteers as we take this beloved community resource to its next level of excellence.”
Shelly is a lifelong museum professional who has worked as an exhibit director and administrator in museums across the country. In 2003, she returned to her native Wisconsin to serve as executive director for Madison Children’s Museum, where she led the museum’s move from small rented quarters to a donated 1929 department store building. Shelly and her staff exceeded the $10 million capital campaign goal.
Since opening in 2010, that museum has more than doubled its annual attendance, and nearly quadrupled its membership. With a fully accessible green roof, the museum is anticipated to be the first LEED-certified Wisconsin museum, and in 2011 won the National Medal for Museum and Library Service for its exemplary contributions to the community.
ABOUT PORTLAND CHILDREN’S MUSEUM Portland Children’s Museum is the museum that doesn’t act like a museum. You won’t find any velvet ropes inside, and playing with and touching our exhibits is strongly encouraged. Our main exhibit is the imagination of the children who play here. Every activity from permanent to travelling exhibits is designed to encourage children to play and wonder while they learn about themselves and the world around them. For more, visit portlandcm.org.