On March 22, the Telluride Historical Museum announced it had hired a new executive director. Like Jodi Pounds, the (relatively) new executive director of the Ah Haa School for the Arts, the book on Erica Kinias includes adjectives such as “smart,” ” highly skilled” and “warm.” Erica replaces long-time director Lauren Bloemsma, who resigned this spring after holding the position since 2005.

Erica Kinias has worked for small museums in small towns before.  From 2004 – 2006, she was curator of a private collection housed in Chiddingstone Castle in Kent, England – Chiddingstone is community with only 17 people – where, for two years, she managed an impressive and diverse collection of Egyptian artifacts, Japanese art and armor, medieval and early modern Buddhist art, and early British paintings and manuscripts. Prior to that experience and right after earning a masters degree in Museum Studies at University College, London, Erica worked as an intern in the Modern Life Collection – art and artifacts from 1900 through to the present – at the Museum of London.

After traveling back home across the big pond, Erica Kinias took a job as Programs and Grants Manager for the Arizona Humanities Council, where she worked the cultural beat, learning about grants and funding and the importance of strategic community partnerships.

“Erica is a museum professional with a passion for community outreach,” said museum Board President, Deborah Freedman. “Our past director, Lauren Bloemsma, set the museum on a great path and laid the groundwork for a smooth transition. Erica is a leader with the strength and vision to steer the museum forward and to the next level.”

When Erica Kinnias first visited the Telluride Historical Museum, she immediately felt at home. In fact, her maiden name is Nunn. Is Erica a relative of  L. L. Nunn, the mine owner instrumental in bringing AC current electricity to Telluride? Stay tuned…

Just to be sure her instincts were correct, during the interview process, Erica took the opportunity to ask around about the museum:

“Complete strangers opened up to me. And they all had wonderful things to say. Museums are magical places. They connect people’s everyday lives with the past. I am honored to work with our Museum’s talented and dedicated staff and board to share Telluride’s colorful past,” she concludes.

Erica  – and eventually husband, Thanasis – plan to relocate from Arizona, where he teaches World History at a community college in Phoenix.  (In truth, Erica is already on the scene, but solo for now.)

To learn more, click the “play” button and listen to what more Erica has to say, including the answer to the question about L.L. Nunn.

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