Most people feel nervous when taking on a new responsibility, stepping into a new role, or starting a new job—even if only a little bit. That is certainly how Curator Sarah Rogers and I felt when we started our new positions with El Pomar Foundation at the Penrose Heritage Museum last year. Nevertheless, we were excited—how could we not be? It is thrilling to be working with an organization that has had such a large impact on the local region, operates programming that extends throughout the state, and is backed by such a long and rich history.
Those were Sarah’s thoughts anyway. I was looking forward to paying rent...and of course to applying my experiences as a 2017 graduate of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs to an incredible and beautiful museum.
Our fears have since faded away as we have grown into our roles. Sarah has been able to bridge her academic passions with her creative passions. I have been able to engage my organizational skills and imagination in order to bring our strategic visions to life. We have also both discovered how important it is to take ownership of and pride in our work with the museum. This has helped us connect with Spencer and Julie Penrose, relating to their lives on a personal level. Essentially, we have realized that we are not just the stewards of their history, but the storytellers of their lives—responsible for sharing their story with the Colorado Springs community.
To meet that responsibility, we want to expand the Penrose’s narrative by bridging and interweaving the stories of various historical events and figures from the region. Our goal is for guests to leave the museum with a better understanding of how the Colorado Springs we know today came to be.
We want to share these stories more broadly by inviting and attracting more guests from our local community, and hosting more educational programs for students and schools. We have the capacity and means to share the truly incredible story of the Spencer and Julie Penrose, and that is exactly what Sarah and I aim to do.
Join us at the Penrose Heritage Museum seven days a week—we look forward to meeting and exploring this rich history together!
Samantha Knoll, Assistant Curator, Penrose Heritage Museum