Celebrating Women: Beth Lemke, Neville Public Museum Executive Director

Womens History

In a storage facility deep inside the Neville Public Museum, Museum Director Beth Lemke checks on artifacts being readied for an upcoming exhibit.

Lemke has been Museum Director since 2013, arriving in Green Bay after 13 years at the Wisconsin Historical Society. It was there she learned that to get people hooked on history, you have to grab their attention.

“It’s about a story: a beginning, a middle, an end,” Lemke explained. “It’s not. You just can’t recite facts and statistics. That’s important to know, but it’s the people story.”

Looking to create exhibits which engaged the community, Lemke’s first major initiative was a strategic plan.  

“We were able to work on a visitors’ experience plan and an audience analysis plan that kind of set the groundwork for how we attempt to go forward.”

Armed with a new strategic message, bridging communities, connecting generations, Lemke and her staff went to work collaborating with the community, forming partnerships with area organizations, and creating exhibits like “Our Brown County.”

“It was an idea in 2015, but really in the planning for 3 years…Our visitors were telling us local history is very important to them.”

A commitment to important programming that Lemke’s staff fully supports.

“She definitely challenges us to do better work which is the sign of a good leader, and we appreciate that,” said a member of her staff.”

A hands on leader always looking to improve the visitor expererience at the neville public museum.

“For me, it’s not ever taking for granted where we came from, to where we’re going.”

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