Context for Change


Kathryn Hill is president and CEO of the Levine Museum of the New South, whose exhibits and programming focus on life in the North Carolina Piedmont after the Civil War. Previously, Kathryn served as COO of the History Colorado Center and as a management consultant to more than two dozen other museum and cultural organizations around the country. Her work has included opening Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta, serving on the charter management team of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and creating visitor services programs at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, and Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History. Kathryn earned a bachelor's degree in political science and government from Mount Holyoke College and was a Gates Family Foundation Fellow at Harvard University.

This episode is perfect for anyone interested in leading a history museum in a time of technological and demographic change.  


  • Kathryn explains what is different about the Levine Museum of the New South.
  • She answers whether the Levine Museum is actually about the South. 
  • She describes what a person sees when they walk in the Levine Museum.
  • She talks about how history builds community and how history should be told.
  • Kathryn discusses the particular challenges of telling the history of New South cities.
  • She shares the values that guide the Levine Museum.
  • She considers whether the Levine Museum should be re-named a Charlotte center of community engagement and social justice.
  • She responds to whether the Levine Museum has a decidedly liberal point of view and social agenda.
  • Kathryn notes the central tension point of Southern history.
  • She shares what the Levine Museum initially got wrong in its 'K(no)w Justice, K(no)w Peace' exhibit.
  • She discusses the Levine Museum's new #ShapingCLT series.
  • She says what the Levine Museum is unabashedly about.
  • Kathryn answers whether the Levine Museum would consider a name change.
  • She shares her vision for the Levine Museum if resources were not an issue. 
  • She describes her childhood and how she benefits from those experiences today.
  • Kathryn remembers her time at Mount Holyoke College.
  • She notes how she found her way to museum work and what she loves about it.
  • She reflects on her work at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and at the History Colorado Center. 
  • Kathryn shares what is the core work of her career and why it is important to her.

plus Mark's Personal Word Essay: A Turning Point

To Learn More About Kathryn


  • What struck you about Kathryn's comments?
  • What the New South mean to you?
  • How does history build community?
  • What is the core work of your career?

We invite your posts on our Facebook page.

This episode is sponsored by Blumenthal Performing Arts, celebrating its 25th year presenting the best in performing arts. 

Further support is provided by Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, one of America’s leading urban public libraries, delivering exceptional services and programs, with a mission to improve lives and build a stronger community. 

And by the Arts & Science Council, Charlotte-Mecklenburg's resource hub and lead advocate for the regional cultural community, providing Culture for All.

Additional support is provided by the UNC College of Arts + Architecture, celebrating a decade of creative education in the arts and design.