National Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson Named to List of 50 Museum Influencers Worldwide

Journey Gunderson
Journey Gunderson

Journey Gunderson, the executive director of the National Comedy Center, the nation’s official cultural institution dedicated to the art of comedy, was named to the Blooloop 50 Museum Influencer List during the Blooloop V-Expo, the first international online conference and exhibition for the global visitor attractions industry.

Blooloop’s inaugural Museum Influencer List recognizes 50 of the most influential people in the museum sector worldwide, celebrating the innovation, excellence and creativity of these professionals who are shaping the development and future of the museum industry during this uniquely challenging time. Gunderson was one of only 20 museum professionals based in the United States to be selected by a panel of industry experts.

As stated in the Blooloop 50 Museum Influencer announcement, “As museums reopen, the visitor experience they deliver will be different. The pandemic has been an accelerator. New initiatives, technologies and innovations will shape the museum of tomorrow. And it is the people driving and enabling this change we celebrate with this list.”

Blooloop is a leading international authority and online resource for professionals in the visitor attractions industry, including theme parks, museums, aquariums, and family entertainment centers. Blooloop has been writing about trends and developments in the museum sector for over a decade and its reporting is read worldwide by professionals in over 150 countries.

A Chautauqua County, New York native, Gunderson was selected for “managing the museum through the pandemic with dedication and expertise, while creating innovative ways to stay engaged with comedy fans across the country,” including the launch of the new National Comedy Center Anywhere online content platform, creating the first virtual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival this past August and reopening the National Comedy Center this past July with its new award-winning LaughSafe health and safety program, which has “transformed one of the most interactive museums in the country and revamped the experience with protocols specifically designed for the COVID era. As a result, the museum experience delivered has been not only touch-free, but stress-free.”

“We are enormously proud of this honor, which is also wonderful acknowledgement of the entire National Comedy Center organization,” stated Tom Benson, president of the National Comedy Center board of directors. “This has been a year of innovation, creativity and adaptability for the National Comedy Center, and we are grateful to be recognized among such a distinguished group of museums worldwide.”

“This ultimately speaks to the dedication and creativity of the entire National Comedy Center team – from the extremely hard-working staff, to the board and our industry partners in both comedy and museum design. It’s a testament to the tenacity of the community of Jamestown, New York to establish itself a leader in the museum space world-wide,” said Executive Director Journey Gunderson.

The 50 influencers include professionals from the Smithsonian Institution, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the National Air and Space Museum, the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and leaders from esteemed museums in France, India, Scotland, Germany, Canada, Iran, Lebanon, Singapore, Brazil, South Africa, and United Arab Emirates.

The full Blooloop description of Gunderson’s selection to the 50 Museum Influencer List is below and linked here:

About the Blooloop 50 Museum Influencer List

In its inaugural year, The Blooloop 50 Museum Influencer List 2020 recognizes and celebrates 50 of the most influential people in the museum sector over the last year.

2020 is a uniquely challenging year for museums. With COVID-19 having devastating and continued impact on the sector across the world, museums are having to adapt and be ready for the post-lockdown world. Thousands of people in the museum community have lost their jobs or been furloughed, projects have been cancelled or put on hold and most museums have temporarily closed. It is estimated that up to 1 in 8 will never reopen.

However, the museum community is responding and readying itself for the “new normal”. The creativity and innovation apparent in this response to the pandemic has been inspiring and it is this drive and determination we seek to shine a spotlight on with our first Blooloop 50 Museum Influencer list.

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