Whisman hired to lead museum of children’s discovery, cultural arts in normal times

The Executive Director of the McLean County History Museum will be stepping down to take charge of the Department of Cultural Arts and the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Town of Normal.

Beth Whisman will begin her new role in February. Whisman, who spent 14 years in WJBC radio journalism in Bloomington, has been at the McLean County Museum of History since 2013.

“The Children’s Discovery Museum is a community gem that any museum professional would be proud to join,” Whisman said in a statement Thursday. “I look forward to a unique combination of new challenges and responsibilities within the same community that I call home. ”

The city’s cultural arts department was established in 2016 to showcase the arts offered in Uptown Normal in particular, the Children’s Discovery Museum and the Normal Theater.

In a statement Thursday, Normal officials said Whisman was “certainly no stranger to the community or to museums.” Whisman also sits on the board of directors of Bloomington-Normal Airport, which oversees the Central Illinois Regional Airport.

“We are extremely pleased that Ms. Whisman is joining the Children’s Discovery Museum and the Town of Normal in this leadership role,” City Manager Mark Peterson said in a statement. “We are extremely fortunate to have attracted someone with their experience and connections to the community, who can not only take on the role of managing the museum, but who can bring their vision and expertise to our entire portfolio. of cultural arts, including the historical normal theater. . ”

Whisman will succeed Shelleigh Birlingmair, who resigned her post in October. Whisman will earn $ 116,577 per year. Birlingmair won $ 114,670.

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