LEXINGTON, MASS.- The Lexington Historical Society
announced that Carol S. Ward will be the new Executive Director!
Previously, Carol was the Director of One River School of Art and Design in Larchmont, New York, where she oversaw business, education, and administration oversight for the for-profit art school and contemporary art gallery. For the previous ten years, she served as Executive Director of the Morris-Jumel Mansion, an historic house museum and arts education center in Washington Heights, New York City. Her experience spanned a wide variety of departments including programming, education, curatorial, marketing, development, fundraising and board relations. Under her leadership, she increased the operating budget significantly and led the Mansion to record attendance.
Here in Lexington, she will provide strategic thinking and hands-on management for a vibrant organization serving the local community and visitors from around the world. The Society manages and interprets to the public three historic house museums with significant connections to the Battle of Lexington, provides stewardship of important collections and archives spanning three centuries of Lexington history, and provides year-round programming to the community at its Lexington Depot headquarters, its historic houses, as well as on virtual platforms.
Carol comes to the Society with nearly 20 years of experience. She has focused on connecting organizations with their community, increasing fundraising and earned income opportunities, and developing "outside the box" programs and events to make historic sites more contemporary and relevant. She intends to use all these skills in Lexington and already has some ideas percolating in her head about ways to connect contemporary art to the historic mission of the organization. She also wants to establish a stronger relationship between the downtown area of Lexington and the Society, creating ways to activate the Depot and the outdoor spaces of all the properties.
When asked about her vision over the next five years, Carol replied, "LHS is an amazing organization that has an exciting institutional history and so many great things going on now. My goal is to take the organization to the next level using my background in strategic planning, marketing, operations and programming. LHS should showcase the dynamic history of Lexington for the diverse communities that surround it. Honoring the mission and history is of utmost importance to me, and then developing innovative new things to expand the offerings to assist in fundraising efforts and to diversify how people see and perceive LHS. The story of Lexington needs to be told and shared with as many people as possible!"
People skills are essential to success in an organization that depends on the coordination of staff and volunteers. In all of her previous positions, Carol has led a staff (from commissioned sales people to arts educators) and also had a dedicated volunteer corps to help lead tours, work on events, interface with the community, and achieve fundraising goals. She is experienced in building strong relationships with current and prospective donors and fostering productive partnerships with other entities.
Society President Barry Cunha noted that ". . . during our talks with Carol, she stood out immediately as someone who combines many strengths derived from her experiences in both the non-profit and business worlds, as well as in both historic houses and contemporary art. We are confident she will bring LHS to a new level and are excited to work with her."
The Societys longtime Education and Interpretation Manager Chris Kauffman has ably served as Interim Executive Director during the search. Wards tenure at the Society will begin on September 7.
Text by E. Ashley Rooney.