Over-the-Rhine Museum hires first full-time employee

The Over-the-Rhine Museum has announced its first director of museum administration, Donna Harris. 

“We are extremely excited to have Donna on board,” said museum founder and current board vice chair Anne Steinert. “She brings the perfect combination of skills to move our emerging organization forward.”

The organization has operated on an all-volunteer basis for the last six years, and the hope is that Harris can take them to the next level.

“She will increase our capacity for fundraising, interpretive planning, and other large projects,” said Steinert, “as we move to create a bricks-and-mortar urban history museum in Over-the-Rhine.”

Donna Harris

As the museum’s first full-time employee, Harris brings more than twenty years of nonprofit experience. She has worked with both government agencies and community-based organizations developing programs, writing grants, and conducting evaluation. Harris holds a BA in psychology from the University of Central Florida, an MS in health promotion from Mississippi State University, and a certificate in museum studies from Northwestern University. 

Prior to joining the Over-the-Rhine Museum, Harris served with the Ohio History Service Corps, an AmeriCorps program, assisting local history museums in capacity building efforts. Based at the Cincinnati Art Museum, her duties included designing evaluation strategies, facilitating strategic plans, and developing policy for a variety of museums in the Cincinnati area.

“I am excited to be working with the museum and looking forward to supporting them in preserving and sharing the stories of Over-the-Rhine,” Harris said. 

Harris’ position has been generously funded by the George and Margaret McLane Foundation, committed to building community and improving people’s lives by supporting organizations that strive to enrich people’s lives through creative arts and the humanities.

The Over-the-Rhine Museum’s mission is to inspire understanding and respect for the people who have created and lived in Cincinnati’s historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Working with visitors and community members, the goal is to uncover, present, and preserve their stories in an immersive experience. The museum is working toward opening their permanent home at 3 West McMicken Street within the next several years. 

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