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Philadelphia History Museum Appoints Executive Director & CEO

Charles Croce has been appointed Executive Director and CEO of the Philadelphia History Museum. He assumes his new position on January 1, 2011.

Croce, a Philadelphia resident whose career spans more than three decades of work in marketing communications, advertising, and public relations within the private and not-for-profit sectors, comes directly from the Philadelphia Art Alliance, where he has served as Interim Executive Director for the past several months.

He was named Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in 2008, and before that served for over eight years at the Philadelphia Museum of Art as Director of Marketing and Public Relations. There, he was responsible for developing marketing campaigns for some of the Museum’s most well-attended exhibitions including Frida Kahlo (2008), Salvador Dali (2005), Manet and the Sea (2004), Degas and the Dance (2003), and Van Gogh: Face to Face (2001), as well as conceiving the highly successful Friday night series, Art After Five. During his tenure, he also oversaw a complete redesign of the Museum’s website and the opening of the Perelman Building, the institution’s first expansion in its history on the Parkway.

Commenting on the appointment, Board President James Mazzarelli said, “We have engaged a consummate professional who has the leadership skills, expertise, and reputation to take the Museum to the next level of growth and awareness in its 70-year history. Charles has that rare and unique blend of corporate and non-profit experiences that makes him a perfect fit to shape the direction of the Museum, especially now as we approach our reopening year.”Before moving to Philadelphia from New York, Croce served as Director of Corporate Communications for Lufthansa Airlines, and earlier as Vice President for Public Relations at N.W. Ayer, Inc., where he developed and supervised the arts and cultural corporate sponsorships for AT&T, the largest corporation in the United States at the time. Earlier in his career he held senior management positions at the New York Philharmonic, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and the Washington Opera at the Kennedy Center.

“Once I had the chance to see the newly refurbished 1826 historic Museum building, view the remarkable collection and new Collection Research Center, meet with the Board and outstanding Curatorial and Collection team, and speak with the dedicated staff, I knew this was a rare opportunity. To become director of one of the city’s true cultural gems at such a pivotal moment is a privilege for me. Not only is the museum poised to become an important Philadelphia attraction, but it also will be a prism for ideas about Philadelphia. I am energized by the prospect of bringing diverse audiences together in conversation through the Museum’s inaugural exhibits and continued programming,” explained Croce on accepting his appointment.

Croce resides in the Fairmount area of Philadelphia with his wife Anne Callahan, a professional cellist for the past 25 years. He is the eighth Executive Director in the institution’s 70-year history. His predecessor, Viki Sand, retired in June after more than eight years at the helm. Most recently, Sand led the Museum through major building renovations, marketing and rebranding initiatives, and the opening of the Collection Research Center. For the past six months, Christine Davis, the Museum’s Deputy Director, has served as Acting Executive Director.

The Philadelphia History Museum
15 South 7th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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