Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) has announced the hiring of a new Executive Director, Liselle LaFrance.
LaFrance has served as the Director of Historic Cherry Hill in Albany for 26 years. In this role, she oversaw development of a long-range interpretive plan, including an award-winning tour, “The Rankins of Cherry Hill: Struggling with the Loss of Their World,” featured in the June 2003 issue of the Journal of American History.
Historic Cherry Hill was also the recipient of a 2009 “Outstanding Commitment to the Preservation and Care of Collections” award from the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) and Heritage Preservation, and a 2014 Stewardship Award from the Historic Albany Foundation, and LaFrance received an individual 2014 Award of Merit from the Museum Association of New York (MANY).
Under LaFrance’s leadership, Historic Cherry Hill was named the “Best Historic Site in the Hudson Valley” by Hudson Valley Magazine in 2000. In response to structural risks discovered in 2003, the organization constructed the Edward Frisbee Center for Collections & Research, which now holds the museum’s full collection: over 20,000 objects, 30,000 manuscripts, 7,500 textiles, 5,000 books, and 3,000 photographs.
In addition to her work at Historic Cherry Hill, LaFrance has served as a member of the Visiting Committee for the American Alliance of Museums’ (AAM) Accreditation Program, as well as an AAM Museum Assessment Program Reviewer. In 2012, she founded Partners for Albany Stories (PASt), a collaboration of 11 historic entities developing a city-wide interpretive plan.
LaFrance holds a BA in American Studies from St. Michael’s College in Winooski, Vermont. She is a former Board member of the Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Upstate History Alliance, and has served as a grant reviewer for the New York State Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the New Jersey Historical Commission. She previously worked for the Federation of Historical Services in Troy, NY, and the Berkshire County Historical Society/Arrowhead in Pittsfield, MA.
A National Historic Landmark District, Historic Huguenot Street is a 501(c)3 non-profit that encompasses 30 buildings across 10 acres comprising the heart of the original 1678 New Paltz settlement, including seven stone houses dating to the early eighteenth century.