July 11th, 2022
On behalf of the entire Seattle Children’s Museum staff and the Board of Trustees, I’m proud and excited to welcome our new Executive Director, Stephanie Fitzwater Arduini, who begins in her new role on Monday, July 11.
Stephanie Fitzwater Arduini (she/her) has worked in museum and informal education for two decades, fostering learning in museums through everything from costumed interpretation and K-12 outreach education, to professional development and community partnerships. Her work has engaged with learning audiences of all ages and backgrounds, from early childhood programs through senior adults with memory loss.
“I am thrilled and honored to be joining the Seattle Children’s Museum,” said Stephanie. “Children are such voracious, uninhibited learners who are constantly curious about the world around them, from the beautiful and wondrous to the complicated and serious. As a parent and informal educator, I’m eager to ensure that the Museum is both an active partner in the learning ecosystem supporting all Seattle-area children and their grown-ups, as well as an organization that provides opportunities to develop the skills that all children and their adults need for our current and future world through play-based exploration, discovery, and connection.”
Stephanie is pleased to be back in the Pacific Northwest and to be reconnecting with the region’s museum community. Earlier in her career she was Public Program Manager at Pacific Science Center (2011-2014), while simultaneously serving as President of the Museum Educators of Puget Sound.
Stephanie’s rich & dynamic background in museums and experiential learning make her the ideal person to head the Seattle Children’s Museum. In this position as the Museum’s Executive Director, she will put her experience to work, leading the Museum in its mission of fostering discovery and curiosity for children throughout Seattle and beyond.
Most recently, Stephanie was responsible for creating a more accurate, inclusive, and relevant interpretation of the American Civil War by curating education, programming, exhibits, and collections as Director of the Edward L. Ayers Center for Civil War & Emancipation Studies, and Deputy Director of the American Civil War Museum in Richmond, VA.
“Museums are at their best when they are in service to their community and, to paraphrase Ghandi, model the change we wish to see in the world,” said Stephanie. “From my experience, this includes not only which/whose stories we tell, but also how we tell them and who does the telling. Inclusivity, accessibility, trust, and justice need to be genuinely embedded in all that we do in order to effectively deliver on our mission.”
She also held previous positions with the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation (Williamsburg, VA), and Mackinac State Historic Parks (Mackinac Island, MI), and has performed contract and volunteer work with the National Park Service, Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, and American Alliance of Museums.
She currently serves on the board of the American Alliance of Museum’s Education professional network. She earned a Master’s degree in the Museum Education Program from George Washington University, and a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Michigan.
She is an avid baker who loves to travel, learn about birds and astrophysics, and play board games with her spouse and two kids.
Please come meet Stephanie and the rest of the SCM staff this summer. Our 18,000 square foot location in the middle of Seattle Center’s beautiful campus is ready to provide kids and families endless opportunities for imagination, curiosity, and adventure. Visit www.seattlechildrensmuseum.org to learn more about hours, memberships and how you can support the mission of encouraging active lifelong learning.
Andy Mathews (he/him)
President, Board of Trustees
Seattle Children’s Museum
Our mission is to engage children, and the people who care for them, in playful, creative, hands-on exploration and discovery.
Our purpose is to encourage kids and adults alike to embrace active, lifelong learning. We create and maintain museum spaces, events and programs that are inclusive, engaging, playful and fun for ALL of the region’s kids and families.
We envision a region where children, families, students and educators have a wide network of facilities to support them in learning, engagement, play and quality time together. We will strive to be an essential part of that network.