Sarah Rogers, who joined the Kent State University Museum as its new director in July 2018, says the new position appealed to her for its uniqueness.
“Openings for museum directors are rare, especially at an institution with such an outstanding collection, reputation and connection to a university,” says Ms. Rogers, who succeeds Jean Druesedow, the museum’s director for the past 25 years until her retirement. “I have an eclectic background in a variety of museums and nonprofits, and in recent years my interests have focused on fashion, design and contemporary culture.”
Ms. Rogers most recently served as executive deputy director of the Columbus Museum of Art and says her biggest challenge as she takes on her new role is to make the Kent State University Museum appealing and accessible to all age groups.
“Frankly, people have trouble finding our front door,” she jokes. “We need a banner on the building! We also need to make visitors, especially students, feel welcome once they enter.” She recently was invited to a PR class in the School of Journalism, and says she welcomes their ideas to connect students with the museum through peer-to-peer engagement.
“Everyone has limited resources, but we have a great staff and support system, and I see only wonderful opportunities ahead of us.”
We asked her to reveal a few more facts about herself:
Last place traveled for pleasure: I just returned from NYC for both museum business and then pleasure, since my wonderful daughter lives in Brooklyn. I stayed with her, we ate lots of sushi and hung out in museums.
Secret talent: Besides having elbows that are double-jointed, I can parallel park any vehicle. Street parking is my sport!
Recent read: [Fashion photographer] Bill Cunningham’s memoir, Fashion Climbing: A Memoir with Photographs, which was found after he recently passed away.
Least favorite current fashion trend: Prairie dresses are back. I’m not a fan, unless you are 10 and adorable. Conceptually, there is an argument that they present a radical view of how to dress today; that I find interesting. But I will not be sporting the look.
Most admired celebrity fashion sense: Tilda Swinton is amazing and has worked with some of the great contemporary fashion designers and photographers. She is fearless in how she dresses.
Best part of her job: I’ve been on campus a few months, and I’m having a blast meeting new people and welcoming them into this great museum.