New Museum Director Takes The Helm This Week
The museum had been without a permanent director since December, when Brenda Abney resigned to take a museum job in Arizona. Cohen, a Baltimore native, recently served as director of the Albuquerque International Balloon Museum in New Mexico. He is a former director of the LBJ Library and Museum in Austin, Texas, and assistant director of the National Museum of American Jewish Military History in Washington, D.C.
“I’ve had a fascinating career with these national museums, but my first love is the history of local communities,” he said. “I love learning how they were built, what makes them tick, who have been some of their characters.” He said he was inspired by his grandfather, who often took him down to the Baltimore waterfront and told him stories of that multicultural city’s development.
Cohen said the Wenatchee area has a fascinating history, and he intends to make the Wenatchee Valley Museum not only a statewide but a national destination as the teller of our community’s stories. “I hope to help the museum grow in every area – exhibits, events, education, visitation – by obtaining support from community members and various grant sources,” he said. “My role as a front person will be to convince everyone that the museum is an indispensable part of the community.”
Cohen directs a staff of 10 mostly part-time employees, and looks forward to all working together as a team. The museum, which is funded by a diverse pool of community members and private organizations, also receives annual support from the cities of Wenatchee and East Wenatchee. It is located at 127 South Wenatchee Avenue in Wenatchee.