Mint hires new archivist, membership manager

Kathryn Oosterhuis and Rachel Ellis are exceptional new hires.

The Mint Museum has hired two new staff members to round out its team. After a national search, Kathryn Oosterhuis has been hired to fill the new position of Archivist for The Mint Museum. She will be responsible for developing and managing the archives to keep an accurate, well-preserved record of the museum’s holdings and activities. Rachel Ellis has been hired as the Membership Manager to further the development of the museum and its membership program.

The creation of the Archivist position is enabled by a Documenting Democracy grant awarded by the National Historical Records and Publications Commission (NHRPC) to The Mint Museum for the initiation and development of its museum archives. The NHRPC is a statutory body affiliated with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and supports a wide range of activities to preserve, publish, and encourage the use of documentary sources, created in every medium, relating to the history of the United States.

The museum was awarded more than $45,000 from the NHPRC last year. The Mint was founded in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, but its history goes back even further, reflecting significant historical data on the culture and society of both Charlotte and the region. The NHPRC’s grant also enables the museum to establish a physical space for the archives and initiate a museum-wide program to ensure that its history is preserved and made accessible to the community – now, and in the future.

“This is another huge step forward in establishing the Mint as a vibrant and relevant cultural leader. Sharing our history with the community furthers the Mint’s ability to serve as center of excellence in collections, exhibitions, scholarship, learning, engagement, and service. By strongly preserving our history, we are better poised to step into the future,” said Dr. Kathleen V. Jameson, President & CEO of the Mint.

“Not only do the funds received from the grant award enable us to document, preserve, and make accessible the records of the history of The Mint Museum, but the award of the grant itself is significant. The Documenting Democracy: Access to Historical Records Projects awards are given to support projects that preserve documentary heritage considered essential to understanding American democracy, history, and culture. The award of this grant is a profound recognition of the Mint’s role in the history of this city, the region, even the country,” said Joyce Weaver, the Mint’s librarian.

Oosterhuis was archivist for the YMCA Minneapolis collection at the Kautz YMCA archives at the University of Minnesota and Project Archivist at the James K. Hosmer Special Collections of Hennepin County Library. Her previous involvements also include archival work with the American Craft Council, a national organization founded to raise awareness and celebrate the American craft movement; work with the American Swedish Institute’s library and archive collection; and work with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Oosterhuis received her Master of Information and Library Science degree from St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul, Minn.

“The range of experience Kathryn brings to the Archivist position will be instrumental in the success of the grant project and the development of our museum archives. I am believe she will be an invaluable asset to the museum and the community,” said Weaver.

Rachel Ellis has worked in the nonprofit industry for most of her professional career, focusing on development and donor relationships. She is excited to return to the museum world, having graduated from Baylor University with a degree in Art History and Museum Studies and prior work with the Amon Carter Museum and the Mayborn Museum Complex in Texas.

The Mint Museum is committed to providing an excellent membership experience, sponsoring many exclusive programs for its members throughout the year, such as First Look Fridays, where members get a private first glance at new exhibitions.

“As the Mint ramps up its general membership cultivation efforts, Rachel is the perfect person to assume the post of Membership Manager for the museum. Her rich experience and expertise, and passion for driving membership, will help us achieve our goal to have 20,000 members by 2016 through inspiring and engaging our global community,” said Jameson.

Ellis has lived in Charlotte since 2011 and most recently headed Individual Gifts & Member Services for Blumenthal Performing Arts.

(Above image: Ellis, left, and Oosterhuis, right.)