Anne W. Ackerson began her consulting practice in 1997 following a successful career as director of several historic house museums and historical societies in Central and Eastern New York State. While director of Historic Cherry Hill, the museum laid the groundwork of research that would eventually lead to the significant and award-winning reinterpretation of the site. During her tenure at the Rensselaer County Historical Society, she took an active role with staff and trustees in framing discussions around how history museums make themselves relevant to contemporary audiences.
Anne works with a wide variety of cultural organizations ranging from museums to arts councils to orchestras and community theatres. Among the range of projects with which she has been involved include building a board recruitment process, assisting with executive search, evaluating membership and fundraising programs, stakeholder assessment, strategic planning and meeting facilitation. She is a frequent workshop presenter and author, focusing on issues of board and organizational development, governance issues, and planning. She writes regularly about management and leadership issues for cultural institutions in her blog, Leading by Design (http://leadingbydesign.blogspot.com). She has been a regular workshop/webinar presenter for the former NYS ARTS' Rurals Program, where she led in-person and webinar discussions about financial management, and board roles and responsibilities. She recently developed curriculum materials and a webinar on strategic planning for the American Association of State and Local History’s StEPS program, a national program for history museums.
Her article about the status of heritage organizations in New York State, “The History Museum in New York State: A Growing Sector Built on Scarcity Thinking” was published in the Summer 2011 issue of the journal, Public Historian. Anne will be co-authoring a book on history museum leadership for AltaMira Press in the American Association for State and Local History series, which will be published in 2013.
She serves on the New York State Archives’ State Historical Records Advisory Board, and was recently elected to the board of Great Camp Sagamore, a National Historic Landmark in the Adirondack Park.
A graduate of Eisenhower College with a degree in Art History, she also holds a certificate from the Alliance of New York State Arts Organizations and Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations’ e-Leadership Institute.