After a year-long, nationwide search, the board of trustees at Hancock Shaker Village has hired Linda M. Steigleder, an arts administrator from western North Carolina, as the new president and CEO of the living history museum.
Steigleder will officially take the helm on July 16, replacing Ellen Spear, who left the position in March 2011.
, in her
mid-50's, has 30 years of experience in history and art museums, primarily running facilities in eastern New York, Boston and the Hartford area from the mid 1980s to 2008.
Most recently, the Virginia native oversaw the construction and eventual operation of The Bascom, a $13 million visual arts complex in Highlands, N.C., near the South Carolina border.
Steigleder was its executive director from January 2008 to January 2011, leaving that position to do consulting work.
The board feels Steigleder will be a good fit for one of the area's major tourist attractions, which draws 70,000 people annually.
, in partnership with [our] staff, will bring [the] Hancock Shaker Village
visitor experience to a new
is returning to museum leadership in part because, she
was intrigued by Hancock Shaker Village
visited a decade ago while living in Connecticut.
"There is so much practice and skills there relative to today," she
said in a phone interview from her
North Carolina home.
With the help of museum staff, trustees and especially the volunteers, whom Steigleder
calls the "heart and soul" of the museum, she
looks forward to helping move 19th-century traditions into a 21st-century world.
"I believe it's important to preserve our museums and parks as they give us a more well-rounded life," Steigleder