Dawn DiPrince appointed Executive Director of 13th History Colorado

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Dawn DiPrince’s rise in history and storytelling of Colorado’s past is about to take another leap forward.

History Colorado’s board of directors announced Tuesday that DiPrince will take over as the organization’s new executive director. The search for a replacement for outgoing Executive Director Steve Turner after 13 years in the post has assessed more than 100 applicants across the country.

DiPrince will assume the role on September 1, 2021. His selection was a unanimous vote of the Board of Directors.

“I immediately thought of my ancestors – and my great-grandmother,” DiPrince said. “She immigrated from Italy at the age of 19 and on her ship manifesto she put ‘Elm Street, Pueblo, Colorado’ as her destination.

“She’s built an incredible legacy and all of her descendants are in some form of education. To me that’s what this role means. It’s in honor of those who came before us and a really good opportunity. to educate. ”

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DiPrince will be the first person from southern Colorado to take on the role. She will also be the third woman to hold the post of 13th director in the organization’s history, which dates back to 1896.

These roots in southern Colorado – Pueblo and La Junta to be exact – have been a catalyst for DiPrince’s vision and success. Her career with History Colorado began as an assistant director at the El Pueblo History Museum. She eventually became director of the Pueblo Museum.

“I have been able, with a great team and community, to build a lot of success (in Pueblo),” said DiPrince. “It’s really the basis of the success we’ve had at History Colorado.

“In many ways I feel like it’s (not only) successful, but really successful in Pueblo.”

One goal for DiPrince’s career has been inclusion. She has helped transform the landscape from historic sites to tourist destinations into a place for everyone – long-time members of a given community, in particular.

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She led the organization’s efforts to secure $ 1.4 million in annual support from the General Fund for Community Museums in History Colorado. DiPrince’s efforts have also raised more than $ 3 million to implement education and exhibition programs statewide as part of its fundraising efforts.

“I’m one of those people who loves a good story,” DiPrince said. “I’ve always wanted to hear from everyone. We’re a 142-year-old organization. We’re almost as old as the state of Colorado itself, and I think when you consider that legacy it’s also about of responsibility.

“I take it very seriously. We owe an obligation to the people of Colorado. We owe it to them to understand where we (and they) come from.”

Journalist Chieftain Luke Zahlmann can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @lukezahlmann.


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