The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center has selected Karen Fisk as Executive Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). She began her tenure on October 17, 2022.
Karen Fisk, a museum professional and dedicated, attentive leader is driven to share stories in compelling manners that illuminate humanity, nurture, empathy, and motivate positive change. She has excelled at maintaining these values, demonstrated across her experiences in publishing and most recently, at the Springfield Museums as Vice President of Community Investments and External Affairs. There, she directed the restoration of Dr. Seuss’ childhood home into Ted’s House and Innovation Center, alongside devising effective anti-racist communications strategies and advancing visitor experiences.
Devoted to the mission of cultivating belonging and creating an equitable museum experience for all audiences, Fisk played an essential role in implementing Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access across the organization. Fisk was involved in the work for a Native Voices Initiative to honor the legacy of First Peoples in the region and celebrate the thriving presence of Native peoples today and in the future. Working closely with advisors who are Blind and allies of those who are Blind or Low Vision, she also helped to develop accessibility-focused practices and programs. Fisk received two bachelors of arts in art history and English both from the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York. She later earned a master of arts in English literature from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
In making the announcement, Board Chair Dave Jenkins said, “We are so pleased that Karen has joined us. We are excited about all that she and our remarkable staff can do together to share the mission and vision of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center.”
“The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center’s innovative approach to historic house tours absolutely ignited my imagination when I took my first tour years ago,” said Fisk. “I returned for many visits, each different thanks to the Center’s willingness to turn to the visitor to share personal insights. What a powerful way to say ‘what you think matters; let’s talk.’ Facilitated dialogue also emphasizes that listening, acknowledging, and building from other people’s ideas leads to stronger insights.”
“This is a great moment for Karen and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, its board, staff, and visitors,” said ACG Senior Vice President Wyona Lynch-McWhite. “Karen truly embodies an exemplary, broad-thinking, and resourceful leader whose emphasis on community engagement, partnerships and collaboration will enable the museum move into a new phase or strategic growth.”