From our new Executive Director - A warm welcome from Amesbury!

I’m three weeks in to my work in Amesbury and excited to be working out of a donated space from the Chamber of Commerce.  In my years of work for museums, working so closely with and amongst the business community will be a new experience.  The support from the Amesbury community was a major reason the opportunity to lead the Carriage Museum project had such appeal.  This sort of relationship is hard to build.  And here, that relationship is already in place and people are eager to get started. 

In addition, the Carriage Alliance has put together a very thoughtful plan with a goal to build a heritage center.  Of course, there will be many steps from where things stand now to opening day.  Thinking too closely about those details is a bit intimidating; and it does make my head spin.  But this is also a great opportunity.  I will be building an organization and drawing from the many different experiences I have had working in museums.  This is quite exciting for me.

I was a high school student when I first worked in the education department of a modern art museum.  I remember the energy, focus, and commitment to engaging our students.  For a young person - those welcoming and dynamic qualities were formative and inspiring.

Later, I worked in a history museum building exhibits and restoring machine tools.  The depth of support for this work was incredible – scholarship, teamwork, beautiful artifacts, and rich stories that connected people to the past and our historic site.  Here I learned about doing things well and managing the trust of our audience.

And more recently, as the director for a local history museum in Manchester, NH I learned about building community through our programs.  More than anything I have done, the relationships that emerged from this work has been the most meaningful part of my work.

Many of those opportunities are present here in Amesbury.  Even with the blank slate and many challenges before me, as I chart a course forward I hope to see a slow and steady development for our programs.

The appeal of this position is the opportunity to bring all those experiences together and make something very special.  A center – built around the history of the town – where everyone can find something that connects them to Amesbury.  It can be fun and active – and even speak to the future as much to the past.

There is much to do.  I’ve met a small part of the group I will be working with.  I look forward to meeting more and to learning more about the town, organizing programs, and developing our center that will be welcoming, inspiring, and dynamic for all.  It will be great to meet all of you too.  You can reach me at jmayer@amesburycarriagemuseum.com or give me a call at our new office 978-834-5058.