The first children’s museum in the Bronx has announced a change in leadership, on the heels of the grand opening of its new facility in November.
Bronx Children’s Museum’s Board of Directors and President Arlene Lewis Bascom announced that Denise Rosario Adusei has taken on the role of executive director as of March 6.
Rosario Adusei is no stranger to children’s arts education. A founder of Peartree Preschool, an arts-focused educational program in Harlem, Rosario Adusei has spent the past 12 years implementing the school’s educational mission, prioritizing children’s creative and cognitive development.
Rosario Adusei is also a children’s book author and is a co-founder of Latinx Pitch and Black Creators HQ, two artist-development organizations focused on increasing diverse representation in children’s books. She’s exhibited passion for inclusivity will play into her role at the museum, where she will work on developing equitable learning environments for Bronx children and families through science and arts programming.
“This is a dream,” Rosario Adusei said. “As a young immigrant child, I always wondered what was inside museums and art institutions. It was not until high school that I entered a museum for the first time as part of a school field trip. My goal is to make all young children feel welcome and know that (the) Bronx Children’s Museum is their creative home to learn about themselves and the world around them.”
Rosario Adusei follows Carla Precht, who stepped down as the executive director on Feb. 28 after a 13-year run. Precht first took over the position as a volunteer in 2010.
The new director will join a version of the Bronx Children’s Museum that looks much different now than it did even a few months ago. Founded in 2005, the cultural institution long provided activities to the Bronx community, but lacked a permanent home. In 2010, the museum received a donation of a bus, which was converted into the “On the Go!” traveling art exhibit.
“At that time, Bronx Children’s Museum had a few thousand dollars in the bank and $3 million in capital funding from the City for construction of a building,” Precht said. “There was no infrastructure, no equipment, no supplies, no building and virtually no programming; but there was a dream.”
The museum announced in 2015 that development of a permanent building was on track to be completed by 2017. However, the project faced years of delays. Pushed back at first to 2018, the museum most recently delayed its July 2022 opening, before finally hosting its grand opening ceremony on Nov. 16, 2022.
Precht played a significant role in the development of the children’s museum new home, taking the lead in the design and construction of the space. Precht’s retirement from the museum came having realized the goal of opening the permanent facility.
While the museum has faced a number of changes over the years, Bascom, the museum president, expressed assurance that Rosario Adusei’s tenure will only help the museum continue to make its mark on the minds of young Bronxites.
“With Denise’s energy and enthusiasm, I’m confident that she will build upon the Museum’s accomplishments of the past 13 years by strengthening our community partnerships, expanding the Museum’s educational footprint throughout the Bronx and beyond and inspiring young children’s creative spirits and lifelong love of the arts and learning,” Bascom said.
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