DENVER — July 14 2022 — History Colorado is pleased to announce the addition of four new members to its board of directors at an exciting time for the organization. Aaron Abeyta, Nancy Chisholm, Kim MacDonnell and Zebulon Miracle were appointed by Governor Jared Polis for a term ending July 1, 2025. These new members will help further the transformative and mission-focused work of the board as well as provide diverse geographical representation from communities around the state. History Colorado is grateful to the following departing members Robert Musgraves, Ellen Roberts and Alan Salazar for their numerous contributions and thoughtful insights.
2022 is an important year for History Colorado focused on creating access and fostering trust, curiosity and deeper learning for residents and visitors alike about the past and present of Colorado. Most recently History Colorado began offering free general admission to kids 18 and under to all of its museums to make it easier and more affordable for youth and families to learn about Colorado’s heritage. Other highlights this year include the opening of its groundbreaking exhibition in June entitled Rainbows and Revolutions, which shares the struggles and successes of LGBTQ+ Coloradans and their allies who changed the cultural, business and political landscape of the state. Additionally, History Colorado opened a new core exhibition at the El Pueblo History Museum, Steel City: 1980-2004, chronicles the power of solidarity among steelworkers and community members in Pueblo amidst great adversity and the integral part the city’s landmark steel mill plays in its history and culture. The second half of the year will see the opening of the only museum exhibition in the U.S. to share the Sand Creek Massacre’s history from the viewpoint of Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal members.
“We are thrilled to have four new dynamic Board members join a long legacy of community leaders with the organization,” said Dawn DiPrince, History Colorado’s Executive Director and State Historic Preservation Officer. “These individuals bring a wealth of experience and expertise in their fields to this esteemed team and our 143-year-old institution.”
About the New Members Aaron Abeyta is a lifelong resident of Colorado and the author of five collections of poetry and one novel. For his book, “Colcha”, Abeyta received an American Book Award and the Colorado Book Award. In addition, his novel, “Rise, Do Not Be Afraid”, was a finalist for the 2007 Colorado Book Award and El Premio Aztlan. Abeyta was awarded a Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowship for poetry, and he is the former Poet Laureate of Colorado’s Western Slope and was a finalist for the 2019 Colorado Poet Laureate. Abeyta is also a recipient of a Governor’s Creative Leadership Award for 2017. He has over 100 publications including Wildness, Relations of People and Place An Introduction to Poetry, 10th ed., Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, & Drama, 8th ed' Conversations in American Literature: Language, Rhetoric, & Culture, The Leopold Outlook, Colorado Central Magazine, The High Country News and numerous other anthologies and journals.
Nancy Chisholm is a senior global business leader with more than 25 years of experience as an executive with Fortune 500 companies. Her broad leadership background includes general management, as well as senior functional and operational leadership roles both domestically and internationally. Most recently, Nancy served as interim president for her alma mater, Western Colorado University (Western). Prior to this, Nancy spent more than 20 years with Tyco International, now part of Johnson Controls Inc. (NYSE: JCI). She served as president of Tyco Retail Solutions, a $1.3 billion global business unit, based in Zurich, Switzerland. Prior to this Nancy served as vice president, human resources for Tyco’s $9 billion ADT Security Solutions global business unit. Previously she was vice president and general manager of ADT’s Western Region in North America with full P&L responsibility for $1.5 billion in revenue spanning 20 states. She was appointed to and served for two terms on the Board of Trustees for Western. She is currently chair of their Elevate Western Campaign, a comprehensive fundraising campaign which is well on its way to its $80 million goal. Nancy graduated from Western with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, and from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Management’s Executive Leadership Program.
Kim MacDonnell is a Bent County Commissioner, serving in her second term. Both in her current role and in her previous experience as executive director of Bent County Economic Development, MacDonnell has strongly supported the work of preserving and interpreting southeast Colorado’s rich history. This work includes some of Bent County’s most important sites, including the Fort Lyon campus and Boggsville Historic Site. MacDonnell is a fifth generation Bent County resident and is dedicated to serving Bent County, the southeast region and the great State of Colorado. Her experiences have equipped her to be attuned to needs and to identify resources to help meet them.
MacDonnell is active in the community, currently serving as the County’s representative to the Colorado Opioid Settlement Response Board for Region 19, and previously holding leadership positions with the State Board of Human Services, El Pomar Southeast Regional Council and The Colorado Rural Workforce Consortium. She is the immediate past president of Las Animas Lions Club, and a founding board member of Las Animas Helping Hands, focusing on emergency needs of local families. MacDonnell majored in Jewish Studies at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.
Zebulon Miracle is the executive director of United Way of Mesa County. Prior, he served in various curatorial positions for the Museums of Western Colorado and was the director of the Gateway Auto Museum. Miracle currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Grand Junction-based music and leadership nonprofit MusicSpark. He's previously served on the Visit Grand Junction Advisory Board, Colorado Canyons Association, City of Grand Junction Historic Preservation Board, and Grand Junction Community Food Bank Boards of Directors. A Colorado native, Miracle's interest in history led him to earn undergraduate degrees at the University of Colorado at Boulder in history and anthropology and a Master of Arts Leadership and Administration from Colorado State University. He is passionate about connecting people to the lands, stories, traditions and cultures that surround them, frequently presenting for local organizations and local and national media.
About History Colorado History Colorado is a division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education and a 501(c)3 non-profit that has served more than 75,000 students and 500,000 people in Colorado each year. It is a 143-year-old institution that operates eleven museums and historic sites, a free public research center, the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, and the History Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF), which is the nation’s largest preservation program of its kind. More than 70% of SHF grants are allocated in rural areas of the state.
History Colorado’s mission is to create a better future for Colorado by inspiring wonder in our past. We serve as the state’s memory, preserving and sharing the places, stories, and material culture of Colorado through educational programs, historic preservation grants, collecting, outreach to Colorado communities, the History Colorado Center and Stephen H. Hart Research Center in Denver, and ten other museums and historic attractions statewide. History Colorado is one of only six Smithsonian Affiliates in Colorado. Visit HistoryColorado.org, or call 303-HISTORY, for more information.