Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:09 pm
Longtime Betty Brinn Children’s Museum executive director Fern Shupeck announced she will retire in May.
Shupeck has led the museum for 21 years.
“As hard as it is for me to leave the museum that I love and have helped to build over the last 21 years, now is the right time for me to do so,” Shupeck said. “It has been my honor to lead the museum through the significant changes and growth that our organization has seen during my tenure. I feel confident that I am leaving the organization in capable hands to build on our history of success, including our very important focus on outreach.”
The museum’s board of directors will lead a search for a replacement executive director and expects to appoint an interim executive director soon.
The museum serves annually 250,000 children and adults, including 85,000 through its community outreach initiatives.
During Shupeck’s tenure, the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum launched its own exhibit building business, making them in-house and selling or renting them to museums, libraries and science centers throughout North America.
In 2018, the museum opened a new lab in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood to house its exhibit development operation, makerspace initiatives and a teacher training.
Museum leaders are also mulling the possibility of relocating from its current building at 929 E. Wisconsin Ave.
Shupeck’s retirement is effective May 3.
“We celebrate all that Fern has done to advance Betty Brinn Children’s Museum as a leader in early childhood education,” said Jessie Lochmann Allen, president of the board of directors. “Our museum is growing and thriving, which is a credit not only to Fern and her many accomplishments, but to the strength and passion of the entire museum team. We are very grateful for Fern’s years of devotion to the children and families in Milwaukee and its surrounding communities, and we wish her well in her next chapter.”