The Children’s Museum is under new leadership with the introduction of a new director.
The museum has welcomed Beth Ellis as the new executive director.
“I am very excited, I love children, I love planning programs and events and I am really looking forward to getting to know a new community because I think this community is vibrant and I see lots of excitement over the future,” Ellis said.
Ellis came to Carson City recently from Colorado where she worked as an art education teacher.
“As a teacher you feel like you are full and want to branch out and this is an awesome parallel to education and I think I bring a lot to the table as a teacher,” Ellis said.
Ellis will be replacing Luana Olsen, who served as the director of the Children’s Museum for six years. Olsen will be going back to her love of teaching at the Carson Montessori School.
“I just miss teaching,” Olsen said.
With her new position, Ellis hopes to continue the hands-on concept Olsen instituted while adding in more art and science education. The museum is looking at adding a second week to their summer science camp as well as adding an art camp for the children.
“I am looking forward to seeing her do more things like that,” Olsen said.
Ellis’ goal is to work with the school district to bring exhibits and activities to the museum that can correspond with what students are learning in school.
“I would like to connect more with the STEM teaching at the Carson elementary schools and collaborate programs we can develop to fit them into their curriculum,” Ellis said. “Because my strength is in art, I would like to bring elements of art into our programming as well. We used to teach in school that art ties into all core curriculum so I want to develop that here that ties one another with art.”
“Talking with the educators, this is a possible gap — to need more art tied in and this facility can be a strong advocate to bring and use a lot of those resources to support programs.”
Though that’s her goal, Ellis said she also wants to hear from the community about what they want to see incorporated in the museum.
“I do want to see what the community wants because that is important and they also see the needs,” Ellis said.
Ellis has been working her way through the ranks since she started with the Children’s Museum; starting as a volunteer then working in every other position offered at the facility. Olsen has been working with Ellis for several months to try to help transition her into the new position.
“Transitions like this can be tough with an organization like this because there’s an awful lot to this,” Olsen said. “But I think the transition will be smooth.”
One thing Ellis does hope to see quickly is an increase in the volunteer base.
“We aren’t connected to other Children’s Museums, we are on our own to make it (with financial support) so donations that come in for time or money are invaluable to us and its why we do truly represent our community and the essence of Carson City,” Ellis said. “We are very open to new volunteers, if anyone wants to help with the Children’s Museum.”
To volunteer with the museum, interested parties must get their fingerprints done. For information on the Children’s Museum visit www.cmnn.org.