Ellis County Museum names new executive director/curatordfwnewsa | September 28, 2022 | 0 | Midlothian , Waxahachie News
After an extensive search and interview process, the Ellis County Museum has named Waxahachie local Michelle Haye as the museum’s new executive director/ curator.
After former curator Shannon Simpson retired in August after 36 years of service to the Ellis County Museum, a selection committee was formed to conduct a search for a new individual to lead the museum into its next stage of development. Located in historic downtown Waxahachie, the Ellis County Museum is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the history of Ellis County.
Haye is no stranger to heritage preservation and serves as the vice president for Historic Waxahachie, Inc., and is chairwoman of the 2022 Christmas Tour of Homes. She has also served on the city of Waxahachie’s Heritage Preservation Commission since 2021. With nearly 15 years of experience in nonprofit development as well as marketing and communications, Haye most recently served as the chief marketing officer for a national digital marketing agency.
“I am honored and thrilled to leverage all my professional experience for a cause and organization that is near and dear to my heart. Ellis County is a truly incredible community, and I am looking forward to building upon the past to preserve history for the future,” Haye said.
When interviewing with the museum’s board, Haye presented four pillars that underscore her collaborative vision for the Ellis County Museum’s future. These include developing new children’s programming and engagement opportunities, rotating new feature exhibits, expanding community partnerships to all of Ellis County and leveraging the newly renovated spaces in the museum for community use. Haye also intends to use social media and an active online presence to reach new audiences and engage with younger generations. Online followers can anticipate behind- the-scenes content and sharable stories from Ellis County’s history that help expand the reach of the Ellis County Museum as community interest in local heritage rises.
“WearethrilledtohaveMichelle, as executive director leading the museum into the next stage of our journey, with the renovation of the museum scheduled to complete early 2023,” said President of the Ellis County Museum Board Marlene Norcross. “There will be multiple facets in the transition to a new, more interactive, community centric museum. The Board of Directors and myself feel she has the experience, talent, and passion to take on the challenge of an improved Museum for all.”
Haye will begin her role in late October.
The Ellis County Museum is entering its 55th year and is nearing completion on an extensive $2.8 million restoration and adaptation of the Museum’s second and third floors.
Built in 1889 as a former Masonic Lodge, the Ellis County Museum has been working to preserve the building’s unique heritage while also allowing it to serve as a multifunctioning space for both the museum and the community. The third-floor ballroom, originally the former hall of the Masonic Lodge, is anticipated to be available for rent for special events with a catering kitchen and gathering space once completed.
The Ellis County Museum is located at 201 S. College St. in downtown Waxahachie. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. For more information, visit elliscountymuseum. org.
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