Greve oversees museum with ‘open eyes, listening ears’

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Rachael Jordan Greve didn’t take over the directorship of the Pioneer Museum of Alabama with a big stick in her hand nor did she come in waving a magic wand.

Rather, she came with open eyes and listening ears.

“I’m not going to assume anything,” Greve said on Tuesday, only her second day on the job. “For a while, I’m going to observe the way things are being done and listen to the museum’s staff and board and to our volunteers. I want to know the museum’s areas of strength and the areas that need to be improved.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Greve said the Pioneer Museum of Alabama is different from other museums where she has worked and directed.

“The Pioneer Museum has multiple structures, 22 historical structures, that gives it a park-like setting,” Greve said. “It reminds me of Westville (Lumpkin, Georgia) and Landmark Park in Dothan. So, it’s different from an academic and cultural museum.”

As Greve begins to put her own thoughts and ideas into play, she said that she wants the museum to be transparent in its operation.

Immediate and long-term goals should be defined along with avenues for engagement opportunities for the community. Programs should be implemented that would interest and excite the community, Greve said.

“We want the community to be involved in all that we do,” Greve said. “The Pioneer Museum of Alabama has something for everybody. Its imprint is on the DNA of everybody who lives in the South.”

The Pioneer Museum of Alabama is a major tourist attraction for the county and it has great educational and entertainment value for the community.

“The museum must maintain a freshness that will keep local people coming back,” Greve said. “We can do that by adding more contemporary programming and making the museum a place where family moments are created.”

At $35 a year, family memberships are affordable entertainment. The memberships admit members of the immediate family to all on-site activities and events year around.

“You won’t find more affordable and enjoyable entertainment anywhere,” Greve said.

Two late summer events have been planned, a watermelon “cutting” and an ice cream social. The museum staff is already working toward its signature event, Pioneer Days on Oct. 7 and 8. Greve’s first museum experience with was the Department of Arkansas Heritage where she led youth and family programs at the Old State House Museum.

She procured museum exhibits and programming employment at Cosmic Cavern Underground, a “show cave” in the Ozark Mountains near Eureka Springs, before taking advantage of the opportunity to manage a volunteer corps at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas.

Two years ago, she Greve accepted her first museum directorship at the Brenham Heritage Museum in Brenham, Texas.

Greve, a native of Brundidge, and her husband, Brian, reside in Pike County.

Jeff Kervin, Pioneer Museum of Alabama board chair, said the board is proud to have Greve on board. “We’re looking forward to working with Rachael,” he said. “She has a wealth of experience and, being from the area, we think will be a good opportunity for the museum. We’re optimistic that she will be the best thing for us for a long time. She will represent us well in the community.”