The executive director of the McLean County Museum of History will leave that position to take over the Town of Normal’s Children’s Discovery Museum and Cultural Arts Department.
Beth Whisman will start her new role in February. Whisman, who spent 14 years in journalism at WJBC radio in Bloomington, has been at the McLean County Museum of History since 2013.
“The Children’s Discovery Museum is a community jewel that any museum professional would be proud to join,” Whisman said in a statement Thursday. “I look forward to a unique combination of new challenges and responsibilities within the same community that I call home.”
The town’s department of Cultural Arts was created in 2016 to highlight the arts offered in Uptown Normal specifically, the Children's Discovery Museum and the Normal Theater.
In a statement Thursday, Normal officials said Whisman is “certainly no stranger to the community, or to museums.” Whisman also serves on the Bloomington-Normal Airport Authority Board, which oversees Central Illinois Regional Airport.
“We are extremely pleased to have Ms. Whisman join the Children’s Discovery Museum and the Town of Normal in this leadership role,” City Manager Mark Peterson said in a statement. “We are extremely fortunate to have attracted someone with her experience and community connections, who can not only step right into the management role of the museum, but who can bring her vision and expertise to our entire Cultural Arts portfolio, including the historic Normal Theater.”
Whisman will succeed Shelleigh Birlingmair, who resigned from the position in October. Whisman will make $116,577 annually. Birlingmair made $114,670.
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