Laurie Morrow, the new Pratt Museum director.

Laurie Morrow, the new Pratt Museum director.

New Pratt Museum director grew up on Kenai Peninsula

The Pratt Museum has hired a Kenai Peninsula-raised woman as its new executive director. Laurie Morrow, 45, comes to Homer from Seward after nine years working as education director at the Alaska SeaLife Center.

Born in Colorado, Morrow moved to Alaska at age 1, living with her family in North Pole and Anchorage before moving to Soldotna at age 10. A 1989 graduate of Soldotna High School, she graduated with a bachelor of arts in history from the University of Wyoming, Laramie, and with a master of arts in English from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

“I am honored to be joining a community-focused organization whose stellar reputation has been built and maintained by diverse, passionate and highly skilled staff, volunteers and board members,” Morrow said in a press release.

Morrow started Nov. 7. From 1-4 p.m. Sunday, the museum welcomes Morrow as part of its holiday recital.

She remembered first visiting the Pratt as a child, where she first got to touch an octopus.

“The Pratt Museum inspired my learning as a child, and I am truly excited by this opportunity to meaningfully bring people together around shared stories and resources in our local area,” she said.

Morrow spent seven years teaching abroad, including a post with the Peace Corps in Bauska, Latvia. She also taught in Seoul, Korea, and Wakyama, Japan.

She’s currently working on her educational doctorate in heritage leadership, examining “what role can we play as informal educators around leaderships, social justice and participatory culture,” Morrow said.

Her educational interest was part of why she applied for the Pratt directorship.

“I realized at some point I have a great interest in Alaska, and want to work more at the community level,” Morrow said. “I felt the Pratt’s mission was a really good meld with where my thoughts were going with these studies.”

An ongoing project at the Pratt has been planning and fundraising for its new museum building. Morrow said as director she would continue that effort.

“We really do need a new building, but we have to figure out how to do that in a way that collaborates with the other needs in the community to make it a stronger project, she said. “We don’t want to be competitive. We certainly need to be collaborative. We need to be honest and clear what our needs are so we can truly collaborate in a meaningful way.”

Morrow is married to Tim Morrow and met her husband while they both worked at the SeaLife Center. Tim Morrow is in the process of preparing their Seward house for sale and finishing up his job at the Seward Public Library.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.

 See more at Pratt Museum events.

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