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Kenosha Public Museums

New executive director named for Kenosha Public Museums

After a nationwide search, the Kenosha Public Museums Board of Trustees recently announced that Leslie Brothers, a Tremper High School graduate, will be the next executive director of the Kenosha Public Museums. Brothers currently heads a museum in Wichita, Kansas.

Brothers will oversee 45 employees at the Downtown Kenosha Public Museum, the Civil War Museum and the Dinosaur Discovery Museum.

According to a statement from the Kenosha Public Museums, Brothers, who will leave her position as executive director at the Ulrich Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art at Wichita State University in Kansas, has 25 years experience in the museum profession.

In that time, she has served as an educator, curator and director in academic, municipal, state, and national museums, “demonstrating success in strategic planning, fund raising, project management, team development and in building collaborations and partnerships in diverse communities.”

After a year's hiatus, the beloved International Holiday Market and Cultural Fair returned to the Kenosha Public Museum on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021.

Lena Cooksey, past board president, said she believes Brothers’ extensive experience is exactly what the Museums and community need.

“Leslie brings an energy that is inclusive for growth and reconciliation for Kenosha,” Cooksey said.

Peggy Gregorski, interim director for the Kenosha Public Museums, said they were happy to see Brothers return to Kenosha.

“We’re very much looking forward to having Leslie on the team,” Gregorski said.

More than local ties considered

Brothers grew up in Kenosha, the daughter of Anita and the late Chuck Brothers, and attended Tremper High School. She earned her bachelor of arts degree from UW-Milwaukee and her master of arts degree in art history from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Board President Elika Shapiro emphasized that it wasn’t just Brothers’ ties to Kenosha that made her stand out.

“Leslie has solid museum directorship and fundraising experience,” Shapiro said, “and a track record of putting into place initiatives that fostered innovative, relevant learning and community engagement.”

Brothers said she is “thrilled and honored” to be joining the Kenosha Public Museums.

“This is a very exciting time to be working in museums committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and community,” Brothers said.

Brothers starts as the organization’s executive director in March. She said in a statement that she was looking forward to joining the “exceptional staff” of the museums.

“Working together with the Board of Trustees, Friends of the Museums, Museum Foundation, the City of Kenosha, and the community, we can deepen and strengthen the presence of the museums and further expand their accessibility to local, national, and international audiences,” Brothers said. “I can’t wait to meet you on the path to discovering wonder within the galleries of these remarkable institutions open to all.”


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