Alumna Orchestrates Operations at Unique Philadelphia Museum
R. Scott Stephenson, president and CEO of the Museum of the American Revolution, has set an ambitious goal for his institution. He wants the museum to be “a movie you can walk through, a dramatic, immersive experience.”
The manager of operations and events at this non-traditional museum is Lauren Fisher, a 2015 Communications and Media Arts major. She has been with the museum since it opened in the spring of 2017 and, despite the suspension of events for 16 months because of COVID-19, has earned a key managerial role at the organization.
She handles daily operations, donor and benefactor-related events, educational programs and private events. “We host meetings, corporate events, weddings, educational tours, galas — and the list goes on. I oversee every single thing that happens in the museum. It’s a boatload of responsibility, but I welcome the challenge,” she says.
In fact, Fisher created the events department at the museum. She and her team have managed more than 3,000 events for the institution, sometimes as many as five per day. She stayed the course during COVID because “the museum really felt like home to me, and I wanted to be there long term.”
Managing events can be a very fluid operation with last-minute adjustments coming at a fast pace. “It’s all about rolling with the punches in the events industry,” says Fisher. “We had a luncheon scheduled one day and had to cancel because the building next door had a massive fire, so we moved the food downstairs and housed the people who just lost their home. We fed them and were a shoulder to lean on during a stressful time.”
Fisher remembers Neumann fondly and believes her undergraduate experience helped her develop the skills that she uses today.
“It takes a lot of focus, drive, and organization to be successful,” she admits. “I was really able to apply myself at Neumann. I was close to so many teachers, and they were hands-on. Being in a small classroom with teachers who actually care helped me and drove me into my career.”
The museum, located at 3rd and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia, houses original artifacts, manuscripts, rare books and works of art. The signature exhibit is General George Washington’s Revolutionary War tent, restored to its original glory. Yes, the real war tent, which served as the field headquarters of the Continental Army.
The galleries within the museum are organized chronologically to take visitors on a journey from the beginning of the conflict in the 1760s through the creation of the nation. It includes theaters, interactive screens, and exhibits.
The museum also presents a diverse picture of the Revolutionary War, including stories of enslaved and free African Americans, Native Americans and women — in addition to those of the Founding Fathers and soldiers — through immersive displays and fascinating artifacts that create a modern storytelling experience.