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From left Pamela Junior, Cindy Gardner, Rachel Myers and Dorian Pridgen

New Museum Leadership Team Announced

Lucy Allen has retired as director of the MDAH Museum Division after forty years of service to the department. Cindy Gardner has been selected to replace Allen, and Pamela Junior has been selected as the director of the Two Mississippi Museums.

Rachel Myers will become the deputy director. Dorian Pridgen will serve as director of visitor experience and Clay Williams will continue to serve as sites administrator for MDAH sites across the state.

Allen led the division through the restoration and reopening of the Old Capitol Museum, the creation of the Eudora Welty House and Garden, and the development and construction of the Two Mississippi Museums.

Gardner served at MDAH as the collections registrar at the Old Capitol Museum, director of collections for the department’s Museum Division, and most recently, as administrator of the Two Mississippi Museums. Gardner earned her bachelor’s degree from Stetson University in Florida. At the 2018 Southeastern Museum Conference annual meeting, Gardner received the Museum Leadership Award for advancing the museum profession.

Junior joined MDAH in 2017 as director of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. Previously, she managed the Smith-Robertson Museum and Cultural Center in Jackson for 18 years. Junior earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Jackson State University. She is the recipient of the Freedom Rider’s award from the Mississippi Freedom 50th Foundation, the For My People award from the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University, and the Hometown Hero award from Visit Jackson.

Myers, who has served as the director of the Museum of Mississippi History, will now serve as deputy director of the Two Mississippi Museums. Before joining MDAH in 2017, she was director of the Museum Department of the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life and worked as a program assistant at the New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts. She holds a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Brandeis University and a master’s in museum studies from Johns Hopkins University.

Pridgen will oversee the operations of the Mississippi Museum Store and manage facility rental and visitor services at MDAH sites. She has worked as the visitor services coordinator at the Two Mississippi Museums since 2017. Pridgen has taught at elementary and middle schools in Mississippi, Texas, and New Orleans. She also served as the school programs director at the Mississippi Museum of Art for four years. Pridgen earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Jackson State University.

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