Brian Statz Takes on CEO Role at Minnetrista Museum and Gardens
Writer / Kylee White
Brian Statz is the new chief executive officer of Minnetrista Museum and Gardens as of January, and he is working hard to make sure the museum reaches its full potential for the City of Muncie.
“I used to work for the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and I was on general council and was also vice president of operations,” he says. “That vice president role I think helped train me for what I’m doing now.”
Coming from Fishers, Statz has been living in the Indy area for 40 years. Before moving to Fishers, Statz studied at Indiana University Bloomington before going to the University of Michigan to study in law school. Statz is applying some of his previous knowledge from working in museums to his new role, as well as new information he has gathered.
“I think I do a decent job communicating with the community, other business partners, staff and our visitors,” he says. “Part of that communication is listening – not saying, ‘This is my idea, let’s go with it,’ but saying, ‘Here’s some things I think we ought to consider. What do you think or what would you prefer? What would you like?’ Then trying to build some consensus as to a direction that we ought to go as an organization.”
“I think also coming from a children’s museum, where we focused on arts and science and the humanities, but we also focused on big things, shiny things, pretty things, kind of a ‘wow’ experience, I think we could do a little bit of that at Minnetrista without Minnetrista losing its culture and its flavor,” Statz adds.
Statz is working hard at engaging the museum with Muncie’s community, to connect more people through the work Minnetrista does.
“I’ve been spending my time learning Muncie, learning Minnetrista, and getting out into the community to talk to as many people as I can,” he says. “That’ll be going on for a while, but I think I’ve gotten a pretty good start just meeting people for coffee or lunch, finding out more about them, their organizations and how they fit in Muncie. I want to meet as many people as I can, just to really weave myself into the community.”
Moving forward, Statz is positive about the future of Minnetrista, and is excited to see how far the museum can grow for not only the City of Muncie, but also for the general area as a whole.
“I am inheriting an organization that has been built up by several outstanding people, including the current staff, to get it to where it is now,” he says. “I would like to be the person that takes Minnetrista out more into the community to reach audiences that maybe we’re not reaching now, to bring some of our exhibits and programs out into Muncie in the county.”
Minnetrista is located at 1200 North Minnetrista Parkway in Muncie. To learn more about Statz and Minnetrista, call 765-282-4848 or visit minnetrista.net. Also visit their Facebook and Instagram pages @minnetrista.