New Year, New Executive Director
The Monmouth Museum Welcomes Donna Kessinger as their New Executive Director
By: Monmouth Museum
Kessinger comes to the Museum from ChaShaMa, International Center of Photography, ICP, and MoMA PS1, bringing with her a connection to the artist community that thrives along the New York and New Jersey corridor. She has a Bachelor of Fine Art from Kent State University, and a Masters in Arts Administration from the University of Kentucky. Donna has produced several independent curatorial projects in New York and New Jersey since 1999 including the Guggenheim Museum and the emerging artists residency programs and related exhibitions at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.
With her experience as a fine arts administrator and educator, an Adjunct Professor at the University of Kentucky teaching the Arts and Artists in Society online courses, and recently the Arts Program Director for the Therapeutic Recreation Division, at Monmouth County Parks and Recreation, she will introduce new engaging educational programs to the Museum for the adult and MMKIDS audience. At Aljira, A Space Center for Contemporary Art, in Newark, NJ she developed the Young Curators Program an educational outreach and youth development initiative with the Newark Public Schools. "I am honored to be selected as the Executive Director of the Monmouth Museum. The museum is a place for families to learn and have fun together, a place for children to dream about a bigger, brighter future," said Kessinger. The Museum presents thought-provoking rotating exhibitions in the areas of arts, culture, science and history, and nationally renowned talent along with the work of NJ artists, providing a destination that is multi-generational.
Her impressive intellectual and artistic credentials pair well in serving artists for the New Jersey Emerging Artists Series at the Monmouth Museum as well as National and International artists for the various Main Gallery and Juried Art Exhibitions and the daily STEAM, science, art, and history programs offered in both children's wings of the Museum.
Monmouth Museum is at an important juncture in its 55-year history as it continues as a regional art museum and a center that enrich the lives of children through exploration of science and technology. Kessinger brings the right skills we need to move forward, she will work with the Board of Trustees to create and implement a strategic plan, provide leadership to the museum team and elevate fundraising efforts including The Next Big Idea fundraising campaign recently kicked off by the Board to ensure the museum is making a lasting impact on children, families and artists in the years to come.
Kathy Pojawa, a trustee who led the search, said, "Donna's ten years of experience as an Arts leader in both an educational and curatorial capacity has enabled her to produce public programs that are compelling, inclusive, innovative and mission-driven. We are excited to have her join us at the Monmouth Museum."
Kessinger looks forward to the New Year, and said, "I am thrilled to be coming to the Monmouth Museum and look forward to working with the incredible staff, board, and artist and family members to advance the museum, which is a beloved cultural focus for the community and region and which continues to expand its offerings."
The Monmouth Museum, founded in 1963 as a Museum of Ideas, is an independent, non-profit organization, entirely supported by individuals, foundation, corporate, county and state grants, income from special events, membership dues and admissions.
The Museum is located in Lincroft, NJ, at 1 Museum Drive, on the campus of Brookdale Community College, parking lot #1. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 am -5:00 pm, Friday until 9:00 pm and Sunday 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Admission is $8. For more information about programs and exhibitions please call 732-747-2266 or visit the website monmouthmuseum.org.