When Lauren Bloemsma came to interview for the Executive Director position at the Telluride Historical Museum, she brought with her a PowerPoint presentation titled: Putting the Museum on the Map.

That was seven years ago.

Since Bloemsma was hired, the museum has seen a 60% growth in admissions; 67% increase in membership; a 200% boost in education outreach; and over 250% more attendees at museum programs. Bloemsma is quick to demur, pointing to staff, a committed membership, a hard working Board of Directors, even national trends as reasons for the success. But Bloemsma’s hard-working, nose-to-the-grindstone principles and dedicated work ethic (late nights and weekends included) have everything to do with the museum’s upward trajectory.

When the ski resort opened in the 1970s, it brought new blood to town, “Long Hairs,” as they were sometimes called. Tensions from the transitional decade still lingered into 2005 when Bloemsma took on the role of protecting, preserving and sharing the town’s history. Bloemsma is credited with restoring relationships with long-time locals—whose ties to the region go back to the mining era, sometimes four or five generations—and bringing subsequent waves of residents into the fold.

Recently, the museum announced Bloemsma’s resignation, which she tendered earlier this month, and the search for the next director is on. The newly formed search committee has posted the position of Executive Director  locally, regionally and nationally in museum publications. Preference will be given to applicants holding a degree in museum studies, arts administration, or related fields. A minimum five years work experience in museums and/or non-profit management is required.

The committee is accepting qualified applications through January 23. For more information about the position, visit


Click the “play” button and listen to Susan Viebrock’s conversation with Deb Freedman, board president and Jim Tharp, head of the search committee.

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