Nathalie Andrews, the longtime director of the Portland Museum, announced Tuesday night that she was retiring.
Museum Board of Trustees President Maria McGary described Andrews as “determined and tenacious” — traits that helped Andrews take the Portland Museum from a one-room school facility to a standalone institution that hosted a variety of permanent and temporary exhibitions about the neighborhood’s history.
In her 39 years as director, Andrews coordinated an exhibition about Paul Hornung and the importance of sports to the neighborhood; compiled copious research to establish a succinct narrative of Portland’s history and its connection to the greater city of Louisville; and worked to establish a cultural plan for the neighborhood.
McGary said the organization will appoint an interim director within the next few weeks.
“Just because when you have a big change from a longtime leader, it’s good to put a little space between that person and the next long-term leader,” McGary said. “We’ll start a search (for a new permanent director) probably in March or early April.”
Portland is a neighborhood that has been in a period of transition for several years, and McGary said museum leaders are considering the organization’s role amidst the changing landscape.
“We’ve seen a lot of people coming in who have an interest in the arts and cultural institutions and activities,” she said. “We’re looking forward, we’re going to be strengthening our connections in the neighborhood, but also we are looking forward to collaborating with some of the newer organizations.”
This includes organizations like Squallis Puppeteers and Louisville Visual Art. McGary also hopes to expand museum hours so more people — including both longtime residents and neighborhood visitors — can learn more about the unique history of the neighborhood.