Museum Of The City Of New York Taps Stephanie Hill Wilchfort As Director And President

Highly-Respected Community-Focused Arts Leader Joins MCNY As It Marks Its Centennial Year

New York, NY, July 19, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Museum of the City of New York, celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2023, today announced the appointment of Stephanie Hill Wilchfort as the new Ronay Menschel Director and President of the Museum. She begins at MCNY on September 11, 2023, taking the Director reins from Sarah Henry, the Robert A. and Elizabeth Rohn Jeffe Chief Curator, who has been leading the institution as Interim Director since the departure of Whitney Donhauser in late 2022. Dr. Henry continues her work as the Museum’s Chief Curator and Deputy Director, roles that she has held since 2005.

“We are so pleased to have found such an accomplished and well-respected museum professional to lead the Museum of the City of New York into this next phase,” said William Vrattos, Chairman of the Museum’s Board of Trustees. “Stephanie has a stellar track record for cultivating community and garnering essential support from corporations, institutions, and individuals alike. Her energy and innovative perspectives will undoubtedly complement our already strong MCNY team, ensuring the institution’s continued positive trajectory and helping us envision the Museum’s next 100 years. We welcome Stephanie to MCNY, and thank Sarah Henry for her dual role over the last few months and for her longtime service to the institution.”

Wilchfort joins MCNY from her role as President & CEO at Brooklyn Children’s Museum (BCM), the oldest children’s museum in the world. During her eight-year tenure, BCM realized a 30 percent growth in visitorship, a 44 percent increase in revenue from admissions, and a 50 percent increase in annual contributed revenue, including funding from private, city, state, and federal sources. Under Wilchfort’s leadership, the Museum raised $45 million in capital support, and completed four major capital projects. In addition, she led BCM’s re-opening in September 2020, following the pandemic-related closure, bringing staff back to work on the Museum’s floor; and safely welcoming thousands of visitors for in-person social experiences. Her efforts helped to further cement the Museum’s role as a trusted community resource.

A proud Brooklyn native, Stephanie Hill Wilchfort has worked in arts and culture for two decades. Prior to her role at Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Wilchfort was Vice President of Development for the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. Under her leadership, individual giving at the Tenement Museum nearly doubled; the Museum held its first $1 million gala; and more than $11 million was raised towards the Museum's capital campaign. Prior to the Tenement Museum, Wilchfort was Assistant Vice President and Senior Project Director at Sesame Workshop, where she oversaw programs, business development, fundraising, and marketing activities in the United States, Israel, and Latin America. She has also held senior roles at New York Public Radio/WNYC, New York Public Media/WNET, and Lincoln Center.

Wilchfort is the current Executive Vice-Chair for the Cultural Institutions Group (CIG) of the City of New York. She has been a panelist and speaker for the American Alliance of Museums; the Association of Children’s Museums; the Institute for Museum and Library Services; the National Endowment for the Arts; and Lincoln Center Cultural Innovation Fund, among many others. She holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, an MPA in economic policy from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a BA from Binghamton University (SUNY). She and her husband Benjamin live in Park Slope, Brooklyn and are parents to three boys, ages 10, 13, and 16.

“I am deeply honored to be joining the Museum of the City of New York, particularly during its centennial year – truly a milestone moment,” said Stephanie Hill Wilchfort. “As a native New Yorker and through my leadership role in the CIG, I have seen firsthand the great work that the Museum does. The institution is a powerful cultural force in the life of the city, and I am excited to help to advance its profile and role in the city’s cultural life as the country’s first city museum. Fostering community, in particular, is a passion of mine and I look forward to working with the entire MCNY team to extend the institution’s reach, to continue to build its audiences, and to present exhibitions reflective of NYC’s unique diversity and dynamism.”

The six-month national search for MCNY’s new director was conducted by PBR Executive Search Firm and included hundreds of candidates from across the for-profit, non-profit, and academia sectors.

Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2023, the Museum of the City of New York fosters understanding of the distinctive nature of urban life in the world’s most influential metropolisWinner of "Best Museum" in Time Out New York's "Best of the City 2021" and multiple American Alliance of Museums (AAM) awards, MCNY engages visitors by celebrating, documenting, and interpreting the city’s past, present, and future. To connect with the Museum’s award-winning digital content, visit; or follow us on Instagram and Twitter at @MuseumofCityNY and on Facebook at


Stephanie Hill Wilchfort

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