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Karen Ackerman Witter

Reporting for Illinois Times in Springfield


Museum records COVID-19 history as it’s happening


Determined to tell the story


COVID-19 takes its toll on museums

Karen Ackerman Witter started freelance writing after retiring from a 35-year career in Illinois State Government, which included 14 years as Associate Director of the Illinois State Museum, natural resources policy advisor to Governor Thompson and director of the Dept. of Energy and Natural Resources. She writes about an eclectic array of topics including museums, cultural organizations, health and fitness, the environment, community leaders and organizations, local businesses, and community events. She’s published nearly 150 articles in Illinois Times, Springfield Business Journal, Springfield Scene Magazine, Museum magazine of the American Alliance of Museums, Illinois Heritage, University of Illinois Springfield Today, Illinois Heritage Association and other publications.

Through writing and volunteer service, her goal is to “connect people, organizations and ideas to achieve greater results.” As Associate Director of the Illinois State Museum, Witter was responsible for external relations, including community engagement, media relations, governmental affairs, membership and development. She served on the boards of the Illinois Association of Museums and Association of Midwest Museums for many years and is a past president of the Association of Midwest Museums.

She has played an active role in the American Alliance of Museums’ advocacy initiatives and is a frequent presenter about advocacy at state, regional and national museum conferences. She also consults with museums and museum associations, primarily related to museum advocacy and best practices.

Examples of her work include:

Illinois State Museum gives cultural artifacts back to Australian Aboriginal peoples

Stormy comes to Springfield

Take a Museum Hack tour

Additional examples of her work are available here