Executive Director at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center since 1998, Katherine Kane directs programs and outreach using the Center’s extensive collections and three historic buildings on 2.5 acres in Hartford, Connecticut. Stowe was an internationally-known author and advocate and the Center uses her story to inspire social justice and positive change. With the Board of Trustees, Ms. Kane is responsible for institutional transformation and implementing the mission for a diverse public.
Under her leadership, the Center has initiated a myriad of programs for various audiences and expanded partnerships regionally and nationally. The Stowe Center’s important collections and programming areas include women’s and African American history, the context of contemporary issues, and the interrelationships of race, ethnic group, class and gender.
A program center and tourist attraction, the Center is an influential and sought-after partner, and a place where people of different backgrounds and interests visit, volunteer, and work. The Center’s innovative programs include award winning Salons at Stowe bringing the public into the parlor for conversations around contemporary issues; and the biennial Harriet Beecher Stowe Prize for writing promoting social justice and the Student Stowe Prize in alternating years. Harriet Beecher Stowe at 200 was a year of programs and activities in 2011 presenting multiple high touch, high impact programs.
Ms. Kane was appointed to the American Antiquarian Society in 2011, received the NCCJ Human Relations Award in 2014, Civitan Citizen of the Year Award in 2005, and the Hartford Permanent Commission on the Status of Women annual award in 2011. Ms. Kane was Director of the Collections Services and Access Division at the Colorado Historical Society (now History Colorado), and Director of Special Projects at the Denver Art Museum. She has a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Denver and an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Colorado and participated in the Getty Trust’s Museum Management Institute. She is Vice-Chair/Chair-elect of the American Association for State and Local History, serves on the Connecticut Historic Preservation Council, was as a member of the American Association of Museums Accreditation Commission, and is involved with several Hartford community organizations.