Bronx Children's Museum Founding Executive Director Carla Precht Announces Departure

A Letter from Board President Arlene Lewis Bascom


Dear Bronx Children's Museum Community, Earlier this year Carla Precht informed the Board and me that she would be stepping down from her role as the Executive Director of Bronx Children’s Museum to pursue other causes, as she had attained the goal set as the Founding Executive Director of the Museum – to open a state-of-the-art children’s museum with and without walls in the South Bronx. As Carla stated to us, “Our physical doors will open in Fall 2022 and the time is right for a new strategic facilitator to take the helm. It has been the greatest privilege of my career to work with such a dedicated community of Staff, Board members, funders, artists, caregivers, and community partners to bring our collective dream to reality. I am honored to have played a leadership role in the Museum’s first thirteen years.”

Carla’s tenure as the Founding Executive Director at Bronx Children’s Museum is marked by three outstanding accomplishments:

  • establishing the Museum as a viable, thriving, financially strong institution;

  • filling a cultural and educational void in the Bronx; and

  • correcting a social justice inequity in New York City – the Bronx was the only New York City borough without a children’s museum before 2009.


Carla working with members of O'Neill McVoy Architects and exhibit designers from Argyle Design



Under Carla's leadership, Bronx Children's Museum has developed more than a dozen arts and STEAM-based enrichment programs for communities throughout the Bronx including Dream Big Summer Arts Enrichment Program, Nature of the Bronx, Music Matters and Little Friends of the River.

 

Carla has led the Museum since 2010, raising over $33 million during her tenure towards a capital campaign, operating funds and establishing a reserve fund. With her team, she developed popular arts and STEAM outreach programs and exhibits serving over 16,000 children and their families annually; secured and outfitted a mobile museum bus; and oversaw the design and construction of the Museum’s building, as well as the design – and redesign due to COVID – of interactive exhibits and a collection of dynamic art installations for the new building that will more than double the capacity of the Museum.


Carla addressing audience at the Ground Breaking Ceremony of the Museum space in 2017.


Top left: Carla with Board members at Ground Breaking Ceremony, 2017. Top right: Touring the Museum space during the early days of the building construction. Bottom: Celebrating the end of construction with staff after the Commemorative Key Ceremony in 2021.


Carla presenting the first-ever Bronx Children's Museum Imagination Award to Board member Richard Abrons at the 2017 Gala.


Carla with US Congressman Ritchie Torres standing up for environmental equity at a press conference to protest a proposal to build an electric power converter station in the South Bronx near the Museum.



Left: Carla with Gala Honoree Kerry Washington and Founding Board President Hope Harley. Middle: In the park at Music Matters with DCLA Commissioner Laurie Cumbo. Right: Carla at 2019 Gala with then Borough President President Rubén Díaz Jr. and current Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson.



Left: With US Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Middle: Carla with Board President Arlene Lewis Bascom and 2022 Gala Honorees Sunny Hostin and Valerie Washington. Right: Making a new friend at a Museum-hosted nature demonstration.


Carla waving atop the bridge inside the Museum after its initial installation.

 

On behalf of the Board of Directors, the leadership team and the Museum staff, we want to thank Carla for her commitment and dedication to the children of the Bronx and wish her the very best as she enjoys life and takes on new social justice pursuits.

The Board has formed a Search Committee and engaged the executive search firm of Harris Rand Lusk to identify the Museum’s next Executive Director.

In community,



Arlene Lewis Bascom

President, Board of Directors

Bronx Children's Museum