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Director's Welcome

Welcome to The Ringling

While many view summer as a time to slow down in Florida, we at The Ringling are always moving forward. The last several months have brought many new faces to our halls. I am pleased to welcome six new board members, who bring a diversity of knowledge and experience to our institution. Additionally, the museum’s senior staff has expanded with the addition of John Frazee in Communications and Marketing and Marian Carpenter in collections. Sarah Cartwright, who has been with us since 2013, was recently promoted to Ulla R. Searing Curator of Collections, and Rhiannon Paget joined the curatorial team in August as Curator of Asian Art. I’m looking forward to seeing the exciting work our new curators will bring to our strong curatorial team. Laura Cook, formerly in our HR department, has moved to a new role leading our growing Membership program. All of our new staff will bring insights and dedication that will be invaluable to the museum.

Along with new talent, we have also brought in new artwork. Our curatorial staff is continually looking to grow the collection through accessioning new and important pieces. This issue presents recent additions in our Asian, contemporary, and Old Master galleries.  

While expanding what The Ringling offers on site, we have been concurrently growing our presence at both a local and national level. For two weeks this summer, Deborah Walk and Jennifer Lemmer Posey travelled to Washington DC for the Smithsonian’s Folk Life Festival. For its 50th anniversary, the festival focused on the Circus Arts and naturally turned to The Ringling for our expertise and guidance. In “The Ringling Goes to Washington,” you can read about this historic event and the enthusiasm it created for the future of the circus.

Part of this future will be on display in January, when ETHEL takes the stage to perform Circus—Wandering City. Commissioned by The Ringling, and having its premiere in the Historic Asolo Theater, the innovative production combines projections of stunning images, films and interviews from The Ringling’s archives, the words of circus performers past and present, and original music composed and performed live by ETHEL.

As 2018 approaches there are many exciting and ambitious projects planned. I look forward to sharing these with you and seeing the passion of our staff, volunteers, members, and supporters make them possible. 

Steven High
Executive Director

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