A new executive director chosen for the Ella Sharp museum after 5 months of research

JACKSON, MI – The Ella Sharp Museum in Jackson has a new permanent director.

Julie Johnson, recent director of museums at the Midland Center for the Arts, was recently selected for the post by the museum’s board of trustees. It will start in October.

Valerie Herr, has been in the acting position since April, when board members searched for a permanent director. Former chief executive Diane Gutenkauf left in March, citing differences in her vision for the museum’s management.

Johnson brings knowledge of nonprofit management, educational programs, exhibition design, public relations and organizational effectiveness to his work, museum officials said in a press release.

She previously held leadership positions across Michigan, such as Vice President of Education and Engagement at Michigan Science Center, Executive Director of the Detroit Children’s Museum, Associate Director of the Detroit Science Center, and Project Specialist. education at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

“I am extremely grateful and thrilled to have the opportunity to join a dedicated board of directors and lead the extraordinary staff of the Ella Sharp Museum,” Johnson said in a statement. “I look forward to meeting community leaders, educators and families from Jackson and surrounding communities as we envision a museum that tells the stories of the people of Jackson County.”

Johnson takes charge of the nonprofit museum organization, along with the Merriman-Sharp Hillside Farm, the Mildred I. Hadwin Center for Art and History, and the Peter F. Hurst Planetarium.

“The Ella Board of Trustees is excited about this new chapter in the life of the museum and is confident that Julie has the experience and vision to carry out our mission to provide everyone with the opportunity to explore , to engage and enjoy history and the arts, ”museum officials said in a statement.

For more information, visit the Ella Sharp Museum website.


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