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Great American Songbook staffer named to prestigious program

Cathy A. Burton, Director of Museum Planning & Audience Enrichment for the Great American Songbook Foundation, has been named to the History Leadership Institute’s Class of 2018.

Burton is one of only 19 public history professionals nationwide selected by the American Association for State and Local History to participate in this year’s institute, a prestigious professional development opportunity.

Formerly known as the Seminar for Historical Administration, the History Leadership Institute brings together public history practitioners to focus on critical issues facing the field. The institute meets each fall for three weeks of intensive workshops, case studies, site visits and discussions facilitated by national history and museum leaders on the leading edge of their professions.

The experience challenges its associates to consider crucial questions and helps them to develop and sharpen the tools, ideas and habits of mind they will use to shape the future of the field. The 2018 History Leadership Institute is scheduled October 28 through November 17 at the Indiana Historical Society in Indianapolis.

Burton, who holds a bachelor’s degree in art history and a master’s degree in cultural anthropology, joined the Songbook Foundation staff in January 2017, bringing decades of experience in educational programming for museums. At the Songbook Foundation, she is the lead researcher and planner for the proposed development of a Great American Songbook Hall of Fame Museum, celebrating the nation’s timeless popular music.

The History Leadership Institute is made possible through the support of field-leading institutions, including its advisory board — Conner Prairie, History Nebraska, Indiana Historical Society, International Preservation Studies Center and the National Association for Interpretation — and other institutional sponsors, the Georgia, Massachusetts and Minnesota historical societies.

More information is available at

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