National Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson Named to List of 50 Museum Influencers Worldwide

National Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson Named to List of 50 Museum Influencers Worldwide

 

National Comedy Center Executive Director
Journey Gunderson Named to List of 50 Museum Influencers Worldwide

 

Jamestown, NY – October 19, 2020 – Jamestown, NY – October 19, 2020 – Journey Gunderson, the executive director of the National Comedy Center, the nation’s official cultural institution dedicated to the art of comedy, was named to the Blooloop 50 Museum Influencer List during the Blooloop V-Expo, the first international online conference and exhibition for the global visitor attractions industry. https://blooloop.com/blooloop-50-museum-influencer-list-2020/

Blooloop’s inaugural Museum Influencer List recognizes 50 of the most influential people in the museum sector worldwide, celebrating the innovation, excellence and creativity of these professionals who are shaping the development and future of the museum industry during this uniquely challenging time. Gunderson was one of only 20 museum professionals based in the United States to be selected by a panel of industry experts.

As stated in the Blooloop 50 Museum Influencer announcement, “As museums reopen, the visitor experience they deliver will be different. The pandemic has been an accelerator. New initiatives, technologies and innovations will shape the museum of tomorrow. And it is the people driving and enabling this change we celebrate with this list.”

Blooloop is a leading international authority and online resource for professionals in the visitor attractions industry, including theme parks, museums, aquariums, and family entertainment centers. Blooloop has been writing about trends and developments in the museum sector for over a decade and its reporting is read worldwide by professionals in over 150 countries.

A Chautauqua County, New York native, Gunderson was selected for “managing the museum through the pandemic with dedication and expertise, while creating innovative ways to stay engaged with comedy fans across the country,” including the launch of the new National Comedy Center Anywhere online content platform, creating the first virtual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival this past August and reopening the National Comedy Center this past July with its new award-winning LaughSafe health and safety program, which has “transformed one of the most interactive museums in the country and revamped the experience with protocols specifically designed for the COVID era. As a result, the museum experience delivered has been not only touch-free, but stress-free.”

“We are enormously proud of this honor, which is also wonderful acknowledgement of the entire National Comedy Center organization,” stated Tom Benson, president of the National Comedy Center board of directors. “This has been a year of innovation, creativity and adaptability for the National Comedy Center, and we are grateful to be recognized among such a distinguished group of museums worldwide.”
“This ultimately speaks to the dedication and creativity of the entire National Comedy Center team – from the extremely hard-working staff, to the board and our industry partners in both comedy and museum design. It’s a testament to the tenacity of the community of Jamestown, New York to establish itself a leader in the museum space world-wide,” said Executive Director Journey Gunderson.

The 50 influencers include professionals from the Smithsonian Institution, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the National Air and Space Museum, the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and leaders from esteemed museums in France, India, Scotland, Germany, Canada, Iran, Lebanon, Singapore, Brazil, South Africa, and United Arab Emirates.

The full Blooloop description of Gunderson’s selection to the 50 Museum Influencer List is below and linked here: https://blooloop.com/museum-influencers/2020/journey-gunderson-museum-influencer/.

For over seven years, Gunderson led the planning, strategy, fundraising and creative development for this ambitious $50 million project, as her drive and determination were fundamental to bringing the National Comedy Center to life.

Since opening in late summer 2018, the National Comedy Center has been named by TIME magazine as one of its “World’s Greatest Places,” selected by People Magazine as one of “100 Reasons to Love America” and designated by the U.S. Congress as the United States’ official cultural institution dedicated to comedy.

Just two weeks prior to its temporary closure in March 2020 due to COVID, it was voted the “Best New Museum” in the country by USA Today readers.

This year, Gunderson has managed the museum through the pandemic with dedication and expertise. She has raised funds to help keep the museum on solid financial ground, whilst all the time creating innovative ways to stay engaged with comedy fans across the country.

She quickly pivoted and led her team in a new direction, developing and launching its new online content platform in just two weeks. The new National Comedy Center Anywhere platform features exclusive content directly from its interactive exhibits and rare archive material never-before-seen outside of the museum.

The National Comedy Center reopened on July 3, 2020 with LaughSafe, its new, state-of-the-art health and safety program. This has transformed one of the most interactive museums in the country and revamped the experience with protocols specifically designed for the COVID era. As a result, the museum experience delivered has been not only touch-free, but stress-free.

She also transformed its annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival – which brings 15,000 people to Jamestown each August – into a completely virtual comedy festival. Comedians featured included Jimmy Fallon, Tiffany Haddish, Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Jay Leno, SNL’s Aidy Bryant and many more.

About the Blooloop 50 Museum Influencer List
In its inaugural year, The Blooloop 50 Museum Influencer List 2020 recognizes and celebrates 50 of the most influential people in the museum sector over the last year.

2020 is a uniquely challenging year for museums. With COVID-19 having devastating and continued impact on the sector across the world, museums are having to adapt and be ready for the post-lockdown world. Thousands of people in the museum community have lost their jobs or been furloughed, projects have been cancelled or put on hold and most museums have temporarily closed. It is estimated that up to 1 in 8 will never reopen.

However, the museum community is responding and readying itself for the “new normal”. The creativity and innovation apparent in this response to the pandemic has been inspiring and it is this drive and determination we seek to shine a spotlight on with our first Blooloop 50 Museum Influencer list.

About the National Comedy Center
The National Comedy Center is the United States’ official cultural institution and museum dedicated to presenting the vital story of comedy and preserving its heritage for future generations, as formally designated by the U.S. Congress in 2019. Opened in August 2018 in Jamestown, New York, the museum complex offers an unprecedented visitor experience using state-of-the-art technology, interactivity and personalization to create the first true 21st Century museum environment.

USA Today named the National Comedy Center the “Best New Museum in the Country” in 2020 while TIME magazine named it one of its “World’s Greatest Places,”  one of only “100 new and newly noteworthy destinations to experience right now” and one of only nine attractions to visit in the United States. Condé Nast Traveler called the National Comedy Center “One of the best museums in the country,” and People magazine named it one of “100 Reasons to Love America.” The National Comedy Center was also voted a “Best New Attraction” in the county, ranking #2 out of 20 new attractions by USA Today readers, and chosen as the #1 museum and #1 ticketed attraction. Comedy industry authority The Interrobang named the design team second on its list of “Innovators Who Changed Comedy” in 2018. Visitors from all 50 states and nine countries have given the Center a rare 5/5 raring on TripAdvisor, ranking among the highest in the attraction and tourism industry.

Based on the vision of Jamestown native Lucille Ball for her hometown to become a destination for comedy, the non-profit National Comedy Center showcases comedy’s great minds and unique voices in ways that engage, inspire, educate and entertain. Design for the National Comedy Center was led by the most prominent cultural and interactive design firms in the world, whose portfolios collectively include the award-winning 9/11 Memorial Museum, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, SNL: The Experience, and more.

The National Comedy Center has been embraced by artists and industry, with archival material provided by many of the most revered names in comedy. Exhibition partners include Kelly Carlin and the George Carlin estate, George Shapiro and Jerry Seinfeld, the Andy Kaufman Memorial Trust, Dan Aykroyd, Alan and Robin Zweibel, Joan Dangerfield, The Lenny Bruce Memorial Foundation, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner, The Harold Ramis Family, The Garry Shandling Estate, George Schlatter, Bill Marx and the Harpo Marx Family, the Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams estate, Desilu Too, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Corporate Archive, and many more.

The National Comedy Center operates the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, which explores the lives, careers and legacy of the “First Couple of Comedy,” and the incredible impact they had on the world.

The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, produced and presented by the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY, was last headlined by John Mulaney and Sebastian Maniscalco, and has showcased comedy’s greatest stars and rising young comedians, including Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, Trevor Noah, Lily Tomlin, Jay Leno, Amy Schumer, Brian Regan, Lewis Black, W. Kamau Bell, Jim Gaffigan, Paula Poundstone, Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, the Smothers Brothers and more than one hundred other comedic artists.

Stay connected to the National Comedy Center and Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum:
National Comedy Center Website: www.comedycenter.org
National Comedy Center Anywhere Website: www.comedycenter.anywhere
Facebook: National Comedy Center>
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