Community Engagement Message from the Executive Director



I’m sure it’s hard for everyone reading this to believe that Super Storm Sandy was 8 years ago!  Can you believe?  2012 was also quite a year.  Reflecting back, the Museum was still in the early troughs of mitigating the damage from both the tornado and Hurricane Irene, and now we had Sandy added to the pile.  A trifecta of massive natural disasters.  But the universe works in peculiar ways, and in the midst of the chaos, we received a call from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, more commonly known as IAAPA.

For context, IAAPA was established in 1918, and continues to be the global association for the attractions industry, representing over 6,000 amusement-industry members in more than 100 countries worldwide.  Their members range from Walt Disney World to…well…to the Barnum Museum.

On November 13, 2012, P.T. Barnum was inducted into the IAAPA Hall of Fame, credited as the innovator who laid the ground work for our global attractions industry today.

Over the years, our association with IAAPA has opened extraordinary doors, giving the Barnum Museum exposure and connections to the most exceptional industry leaders on the planet.  In early 2013, we began working with internationally renowned BRC Imagination Arts, designers of the acclaimed Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library, Kennedy Space Center Museum, and various Disney theme park attractions.  Known as master storytellers and technical wizards, BRC has helped us chart a new and vibrant course for the Barnum Museum’s future that will transform the conventional museum experience combining rigorous and uncompromising scholarship and masterful, innovative storytelling.

“Wait a minute, I tell ya!  You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”  To paraphrase the Jazz Singer!  There’s so much more to come!  And we’re bringing you new and exciting programs through our YouTube Channel!  Every week there will be something new and original.  We’ll be exploring the re-envisioning with our designers, meeting with Barnum enthusiasts and family, and diving into some of the rare and curious objects in the collection.  So, buckle up!  It’s going to be a wondrous ride!

I’ll leave you this week with Mr. Barnum’s words – “The noblest art is that of making others happy.”  Spread the word!

Stay safe, stay strong, 

Kathy Maher
Executive Director,
Barnum Museum

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