New director takes the helm at the Carousel Museum in Bristol

new director takes the helm at the carousel museum in bristol - New director takes the helm at the Carousel Museum in Bristol

BRISTOL – The New England Carousel Museum has announced that Morgan Urgo will succeed Louise DeMars as executive director.

“It’s wonderful,” said Urgo on Friday about her promotion. “Louise’s retirement had been in the museum’s long-range plans for a while and today is my official first day. Louise is a museum professional with 50 years of experience. She was a great mentor. Museums have always been my passion and I have come to see that there is so much to learn about carousels which most people don’t know. Another great mentor was Kate Mahoney, the museum subject specialist. She showed me what goes into the creation of these fascinating, high-end works of art.”

DeMars, who had been director for 28 years and was the first to hold the position, chose Urgo as her “natural successor” according to Victoria Biondi, president of the Museum’s Board of Directors.

“The Museum has been incredibly blessed with the stewardship of Louise DeMars as its first executive director and we are delighted that she will stay with the organization, overseeing the Bushnell Park Carousel in Hartford as Director Emeritus,” said Biondi. “Fortunately, we feel blessed to have someone of Morgan’s talent choose to follow as the next executive director.”

Most recently, Urgo held the position of Assistant Director of External Affairs at the museum since June 2018. She was promoted by DeMars after serving as Museum Manager since June 2016.

“In these two roles she worked hand in hand with Louise in managing Museum’s staff and event schedule, overseeing daily museum operations and co-creating, developing and maintaining all public programs and exhibitions,” said Biondi. “This included both the operations of the museum in Bristol as well as assisting with the Bushnell Park Carousel operation which the City of Hartford has entrusted to the museum for the last 20 years.”

Urgo said that, living in Bristol, she used to dive by the Carousel Museum all the time and always knew that it would be an interesting place to check out. Prior to accepting a position at the museum, she used to volunteer regularly.

“I told Louise to keep me posted if anything ever opened up,” she said. “I always wanted to work somewhere in Bristol which I would be able to walk or bike to. Louise will now be focusing on the Bushnell Park Carousel while I focus on museum activities and programs and bringing the museum to the next level.”

Biondi said Urgo is a 17-year veteran of museums who is “well prepared” for her new position. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing with a Minor in Art History from Plymouth State University, in Plymouth, New Hampshire. This was followed with four years as a Master Teaching Artist for the Bushnell Center for Performing Arts in Hartford. She then spent several years as Coordinator of Public Programs with the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, followed by several more years as Manager of Visitor and Volunteer Services until 2011. She then became Co-Founder and Director of Customer Experiences from 2011 to 2016 with The Art Truck, LLC out of Glastonbury.

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Friday, 22 March 2019 19:34. Updated: Friday, 22 March 2019 19:37.

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