Naper Settlement is pleased to announce that Sheila Riley, an experienced professional in history and children’s museums, has been named Director of Learning Experiences. In her new role, Riley will oversee the Learning Experiences Department and nine Museum Educators. She most recently served as the Museum Manager at the Children’s Discovery Museum in Normal, Illinois, a division of the Parks and Recreation Department, where she supervised over 40 full-time and part-time employees in areas of exhibits, education, membership and development.
“Sheila Riley has an impressive background in museum education and development, and she will be a great asset in helping Naper Settlement grow as a leading educational destination by developing new and engaging opportunities for visitors and leading our educational team,” said Vice President of Community Engagement and Audience, Donna Sack. “We are very excited to have her join the team.”
Riley is originally from northern Kentucky and found herself in the Midwest when she moved to Indianapolis to start her Ph.D. in American Studies and Folklore, with an emphasis in Material Culture at Indiana University. She worked as the Director of Collections at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis for 10 years, where she directed all aspects of collections management, curation, conservation and archives for over 120,000 artifacts and specimens. Riley has her master’s degree in Folk Studies with an emphasis in Oral History and Material Culture from Western Kentucky University.
Riley did contract work as a Curator and Exhibit Advisor Consultant at Conner Prairie, an interactive history park in Indianapolis in 2011, and decided she wanted to pursue a job working at an institution in the historical and period environment.
“I know there are many new ideas on the horizon for Naper Settlement, and I’m really excited to be a part of that,” said Riley. “I’ve experienced many different types of institutions in my past and I think I have a lot of good things to contribute to the institution, and I’m excited to meet the staff and get started down a positive path.”