Mark Twain Museum executive director departs for Mark Twain's Hartford House

HANNIBAL, Mo. - The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum announces executive director Cindy Lovell has accepted a position at The Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Conn., as executive director.
Lovell will begin her position in Hartford on March 4.
"Dr. Lovell has tirelessly worked for the benefit of both the Mark Twain Home Foundation and the community in striving to preserve the legacy of Mark Twain and in showing his continued relevance in the world today," said Hon. David Mobley, President of the Mark Twain Home Foundation Board. "She will be greatly missed. We wish her the best of luck at Hartford, knowing her passion for Mark Twain will continue to serve his legacy, only on a different stage."
Lovell has served as executive director of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum since 2008 and is a tenured associate professor of education at Quincy University.
During her time in Hannibal, she has coordinated the Young Authors workshops, writing workshops and co-directed teacher workshops with museum curator Henry Sweets. She has traveled across the country for speaking engagements, teacher education programs and Big Read events.
"It has been a tremendous pleasure to work with Cindy Lovell the past few years," Sweets said. "Her boundless and contagious enthusiasm for all things Mark Twain is evident in her work. Her vision of the future for the Mark Twain Museum is positive and inspiring and has started the museum moving in new directions. We will miss her, but look forward to a tremendous relationship with the Mark Twain House in Hartford and wish her well in her new position."
 Lovell spearheaded "Mark Twain: Words & Music," a double-CD telling Mark Twain's life through spoken word and song. Lovell wrote the narrative for the project, which features Clint Eastwood as Twain, Jimmy Buffett as Huck Finn and Garrison Keillor as the narrator. The CD includes songs performed by Brad Paisley, Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs and more. Lovell served as co-executive producer with Grammy award winning musician Carl Jackson.
In 2012, Lovell worked with Missouri congressmen and senators, The Mark Twain House & Museum and other Twain sites to push the Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act through Congress. The bill was signed into law Dec. 2012 and will benefit the four major Twain sites when the coins are minted in 2016.

Lovell with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon
Lovell received the Missouri Governor's Ambassador Award for Tourism in 2012, the Community Achievement Award from the Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce in 2011, the Hannibal NAACP Martin Luther King, Jr. Award in 2010 and under her direction the museum received the Missouri Governor's 2010 Humanities Award for Exemplary Community Achievement in 2010. She serves on the Hannibal Free Public Library Board, the Hannibal African American Life & History Project and is a member of the Hannibal Rotary and Lions clubs. Lovell is a contributor to The Huffington Post on topics regarding Twain and has contributed articles to the Hannibal Courier-Post.
"Serving in Hannibal these past few years has brought me profound joy, and I'm most grateful for the lasting friendships I've made here," Lovell said. "I'm deeply honored to have worked with such a dedicated staff and board. Hannibal has always made me feel right at home, starting with my very first visit in 1996 when Henry Sweets graciously showed me the museum properties and other important sites.
"I will always have tremendous regard and affection for this community, which highly values the preservation of Mark Twain's legacy - from the generous supporters to the Tom and Becky participants to the residents who attend our events to those who work with us in tourism. I look forward to exploring new opportunities for the Hartford and Hannibal homes to continue collaborating since both share the mission to preserve the legacy of America's greatest author."
The Home Foundation Board and museum staff will host a farewell reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 23 at the museum gallery (120 N. Main St.). This event is open to the public. Please RSVP to Mai Conrad at 573-221-9010, ext. 401, by Feb. 20.

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