With more than 30 years in the museum world, Kathleen Maher is a gifted speaker and noted authority on all things related to Phineas Taylor Barnum. Kathy joined the Barnum Museum in 1998 and has been Executive Director since 2005.
In 2010, the Barnum Museum was struck by an EF1 tornado significantly damaging the historic landmark building, with additional damage sustained from hurricanes Irene and Sandy. In the wake of this tremendous challenge Kathy has been the Museum’s champion, leading the charge to restore and re-envision the historic structure. Under her leadership, the Museum is focusing on new and innovative methods, integrating history, arts, science and technology to create a dynamic 21st century Museum for the future.
Ms. Maher is an active member of the Connecticut cultural community, and an advocate for the city of Bridgeport’s historic and cultural legacy. She holds governor’s appointments to the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Council, the State Library and Museum of Connecticut History and Heritage, and the Connecticut Civil War Commemoration Commission. She advocates and speaks across the U.S. about historic preservation, urban revitalization and economic development through community arts and cultural heritage, and has been featured by major media properties including the History Channel, A&E Networks, Connecticut Public Television, TEDx, the BBC and National Public Radio. She holds a M.A. from New York University and has worked at cultural institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Kathy is regularly sought and acknowledged by local and global media outlets for her expertise and her enthusiasm to share P.T. Barnum’s story with the world.