From the Director: Summer 2018

From the Director’s Desk: Celebrating Barnum at the heart of Connecticut!

A warm congratulations to Nekita Waller, just last week appointed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy as Connecticut’s 17th State Troubadour and the first African-American woman to hold this position. The Barnum Museum is thrilled to share this news and link to Nekita’s song “Connecticut Anthem,” in which Barnum’s Greatest Show on Earth was – and is – at the heart of Nekita’s memories and part of our state’s lifeblood. Enjoy!

The Museum’s dedicated team of staff, partners and advocates continue to promote Barnum’s joyful mission not only in Connecticut but well beyond. A few updates from what is already a busy summer for the Barnum Museum:

With support from the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and the Connecticut state Department of Economic and Community Development, work is underway to continue restoration of the historic Museum building. As stewards of P.T. Barnum’s last and only surviving building, it is crucial that the Museum’s team is focused on the soul and the details of this project. We are in constant communication with SHPO and are so grateful to them for their ongoing support of the Barnum Museum’s revitalization.

As I write this, historic preservation work is underway on the Museum’s massive, iconic dome – and we’ll have TV cameras here when the structural steel is hoisted into place, so stay tuned!

Not to mention, years of pragmatic and steady work to preserve and stabilize the Museum building following tornado and hurricane damage has recently paid off in an extraordinary way: I’m delighted to note that the National Park Service and Department of the Interior have re-activated the Barnum Museum’s application for designation as a National Historic Landmark. There are only 2,500 such landmark sites in the United States, and, once achieved, this recognition will establish the Barnum Museum as one of America’s most significant historic places.

To give our guests a glimpse into the art, stories and community reflections that continue to guide the re-envisioning process, we are at work on a new mini-exhibit to showcase the future of the Barnum Museum. We are thrilled to work with remarkable local arts companies Robbins Tesar and Firelight Media to showcase the innovative concept work done with our designer, BRC Imagination Arts.

Our re-envisioning is a group effort, and your help will drive it forward. I encourage you to join our email list to receive updates on the Museum, donate to ensure these efforts can continue, and visit the Museum as part of our ongoing programming.

I welcome you to make a visit to the Museum part of your summer plans, as we have added Saturday seasonal hours to our usual Thursday and Friday opening.


Kathy Maher
Executive Director