Issaquah History Museums head towards a new vision

The organization will refrain from hiring a new Executive Director and instead form a task force.

While the Issaquah History Museums celebrate their 50th anniversary, the organization also begins a large transition process. Following the departure of Executive Director Erica Maniez, who served the museums for 22 years, the Issaquah History Museums staff and board see an opportunity to reimagine what a museum is, and what it can be to its community.

According to Board President Julia Belgrave, the staff and board remain committed to the organization’s stated values, which are being authentic, representing the community, working intentionally, and embodying delight.

In the spring of 2020, the museums began work to comprehend the role it plays in relation to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. According to Belgrave, the organization hopes to grow in understanding and work towards embodying that knowledge within the Issaquah History Museums.

The museums’ new vision includes pursuing the creation of a more equitable and sustainable governance and leadership structure, which translates to refraining from hiring a new Executive Director.

Issaquah History Museums will form a task force made up of staff, board, and community members to better the museums both internally and for the community. The organization hopes to engage with those they have previously partnered with, as well as forming new collaborative relationships.

For the task force, the organization is in search of volunteer community members and organizations who wish to learn and collaborate with board and staff members to advise and create proposals for Issaquah History Museums’ Board of Directors. For interested volunteers, experience, skill, and knowledge is required for one or more of the following areas:

  • Finance (budgets, fundraising and development, best practices, among others).
  • Facilities (state of buildings, safety, lighting, organization, clean-out).
  • Archives and Collection (equitable accession policy, deaccession process and review).
  • Operations, Governance, Leadership (learning equitable, sustainable, and flat models, creating transparency, healthcare).
  • Education (community relationships and partnerships, best practices and standards for online research and education, among others).
  • Technology (safety, hardware and software audit, data storage and backup, best practices).

Issaquah History Museums are interested in hearing from community members and organizations who have the required experience and are committed to the organization’s values.

For those who are interested in becoming involved with the organization, email Julia Belgrave at