As executive director of the King Manor Museum in Jamaica, Kelsey Brow is tasked with preserving the house and former estate of Rufus King, an original signer of the U.S. Constitution.
With public tours and educational opportunities available at the museum, Brow is also in charge of scheduling programming that is meaningful and accessible to the community.
“It’s a real honor and privilege, but also a lot of stress,” said Brow.
Much like King, Brow also places high priority in pay equity, while maintaining quality staff who help uphold the history of an outspoken opponent of slavery.
“So many times, people who work in museums are asked to do it because they love it or they believe in the mission,” said Brow. “But believing in the mission doesn’t pay the bills. People should be compensated fairly for their labor.”
Brow started her role as executive director not too long before the pandemic started, and she recalled what it was like having to maneuver through the past 18 months,
“We were very fortunate to have such a large building and such a good outdoor space,” said Brow. “We did a lot of renovations on the inside.”
The museum recently expanded its viewing tours to include the second floor of the house. The museum has also partnered with South Queens Women’s March (SQWM) to host local food pantries and personal protective equipment giveaways.
Currently, the second floor is hosting a “Made in Queens” exhibit, curated by the SQWM.
“We really wanted to give the space to the community to express what they wanted to express,” said Brow.