Recorded Session: Defying Expectations: Missions and Margins at Historic Sites

Recorded On: 09/30/2020

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Session Description

Defying Expectations: Missions and Margins at Historic Sites is a recorded session of the 2020 AASLH Online Annual Meeting.

Our professional responsibility is to serve our current missions, while simultaneously ensuring the historical assets we steward are here for future generations. Experienced leaders from three historic sites share game-changing approaches at their respective organizations that defied expectations, leading the way for new paradigms in mission, governance, and business modeling.


RECORDED DATE: September 30, 2020

COST: $5 AASLH Members / $10 Nonmembers / Free for Full Access Annual Meeting attendees w/ Promo Code (email

ACCESS: You will be provided with instructions on how to access the recording upon registration.


Chair: David Janssen Brucemore National Trust Historic Site and Cultural Center, Cedar Rapids, IA
David Janssen has over 27 years’ experience in museum and historic site leadership. He has served as the executive director of Brucemore, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, since 2012. At Brucemore, David initiated and lead efforts to transform the sustainability model of the organization. This included multi-year strategies to right-size program outputs, build fundraising capacity, communicate the existing funding model deficiencies, and address internal systems limitations. Under David’s leadership the organization has earned several awards for community collaboration and workplace culture, while growing the annual budget by 90%, and attracting over $10M in donations and grants. David earned a BA in history from Dartmouth College, an MA in history from Duquesne University, and an MBA from the University of Iowa.

Erin Carlson Mast President Lincoln's Cottage, Washington, DC
Erin Carlson Mast is CEO of President Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington, DC. Her leadership has guided the organization through strategic visioning and growth, groundbreaking programming, and significant recognition, including a Presidential Medal, being named one of Washington, DC’s 50 Best Places to Work, and being awarded DC’s Best Museum off the Mall for three consecutive years. In 2016, she led the organization’s transition to an independent 501(c)(3). She received the EXCEL Chief Executive Leadership Award in 2017. Erin has been a contributing author to various journals and books, including, most recently, History News (2019), Mission Matters (2019) and Reimagining Historic House Museums (2019). Erin is on the Lincoln Forum Advisory Board and previously served on the AASLH Council and National History Day Advisory Board.

Kara Newport Filoli, Woodside, CA
Kara Newport is the CEO for Filoli and has worked with a variety of cultural organizations. After completing her master’s degree through the Longwood Graduate Program, she was a senior development professional for Winterthur, Philadelphia Zoo and Franklin Institute. Kara continued her work in Charlotte, NC ultimately as the Executive Director of Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden for ten years. Since joining Filoli in 2016, she has increased attendance by an unprecedented 75% and revenue by over 30% and launched a 5-year strategic plan. With a guiding principle to be “open and available for all”, Filoli now attracts a very diverse audience. Kara is a regular presenter and has served on both local and national boards, most recently on the Public Gardens Association National Board.

Recording Transcript

A transcript is provided with the recording.

Components visible upon registration.

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