The Carle Names Alexandra Kennedy as New Executive Director

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Rapidly-growing museum expands senior leadership team with addition of Disney Publishing alum.

Core to the museum are so many things I am passionate about -- children, education, literature and art, and the meaningful role that non-profits can have in families' lives. I will always be grateful for the remarkable experiences I had working at Disney -- and look forward to the many exciting opportunities ahead at The Carle.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art has named former Disney executive Alix Kennedy as Executive Director, a newly created position aimed at expanding the senior leadership team at the now five-year old organization. Founding Director Nick Clark, who has been with the Museum since its inception, will assume the full time, newly-created role as Chief Curator.

"Alix has demonstrated exemplary management skills as well as terrific creative instincts. She understands start ups and the family audience on a national scale, which is central to our mission," said Chris Milne, Chairman of the Board and head of the Search Committee. He continued, "we were extremely gratified with the caliber and credentials of the applicant pool, and Alix was our unanimous choice."

During her 17-year career with Disney Publishing Worldwide, Kennedy most recently held the position of vice president and editorial director of U.S. Consumer Magazines, which includes FamilyFun and Wondertime magazines. She was presented with the Disney Publishing Worldwide Leadership Award in 2004, the Launch Editor of the Year Award from MIN Magazine in 2006, and will be presented with the Exceptional Women in Publishing Award from Women in Periodical Publishing (WIPP) in January 2009.

"I am really delighted about this opportunity," says Kennedy. "Core to the museum are so many things I am passionate about -- children, education, literature and art, and the meaningful role that non-profits can have in families' lives. I will always be grateful for the remarkable experiences I had working at Disney -- and look forward to the many exciting opportunities ahead at The Carle."

Kennedy, who has an M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, launched FamilyFun in 1991 and Wondertime in 2006. FamilyFun, the enormously successful magazine with a focus on activities for families, has a rate base of 2,000,000 readers. Wondertime, with its emphasis on education and child development, quickly earned two nominations for National Magazine Awards, and has a rate base of 500,000 readers. Since 2006, Kennedy has been a Board Member of the Fine Arts Center at the University of Massachusetts, and has served on other non-profit boards as well.

"Alix brings a very impressive set of credentials to the position," said Nick Clark, who will now assume the role of Chief Curator. "She is a proven manager, and possesses the ability to create a potent brand that has national and international reach. This is exactly what we needed," Clark continued.

The change in leadership structure is a direct reflection of the Museum's rapid growth and the need to separate the curatorial and programming functions from the day-to-day administrative oversight. The Museum will be "retiring" the position of Founding Director. Kennedy will officially begin in the role of Executive Director on October 27 at The Carle's main office, located in Amherst, Massachusetts.

About the Museum:
Founded in part by Eric Carle, the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and his wife Barbara, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is the first full-scale museum in this country devoted to national and international picture book art, conceived and built with the aim of celebrating the art that we are first exposed to as children. Through the exploration of images that are familiar and beloved, it is the Museum's goal to provide an enriching, dynamic, and supportive context for the development of literacy and to foster in visitors of all ages and backgrounds the confidence to appreciate and enjoy art of every kind.

The Museum--which houses three galleries dedicated to rotating exhibitions of picture book art, a hands-on Art Studio, a Reading Library, an Auditorium, a popular Café, and a Museum Shop--is located at 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 12 noon to 5 pm. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children under 18, and $20 for a family of four. For further information and directions, call 413-658-1100 or visit the Museum's website at http://www.carlemuseum.org.

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