The Frazier History Museum has appointed a new president and chief executive, the downtown Louisville institution announced Tuesday.
Penelope J. Peavler comes to the Frazier from the Weber Group, a design and specialty fabrication firm based in Sellersburg, Indiana. She previously served in a variety of roles at the Speed Art Museum. She is a Kentucky native and a faculty member at Bellarmine University in the Department of Arts Administration.
Peavler said her deep background in the arts makes her the right person to lead the institution going forward.
“I have been in arts administration and the cultural/entertainment sector for 25 years, so I feel like leading the largest history museum in the commonwealth is something that I’ve been training for my whole career,” Peavler said.
Peavler’s appointment comes as the Frazier is planning a major expansion, which will include a partnership with the Kentucky Distillers’ Association to highlight the history of bourbon. Peavler said the Frazier, like any cultural attraction, has to find a way to compete for entertainment dollars.
“Making sure that we explain to people why it’s important to actually come in person and have these authentic experiences with the past is a challenge for any cultural institution,” Peavler said.
The Frazier has been under the leadership of interim director Paula Hale since former director Madeline Burnside retired in May 2014. Peavler steps into her new role on Aug. 1.
(Top photo via Bedford/Creative Commons)