Norman Burns, Conner Prairie President & CEO

Norman Burns is the President & CEO of Conner Prairie. Burns has more than 30 years of experience in various leadership capacities at historical institutions, most recently as executive director at Maymont, a 100-acre property in Richmond, Va. Prior to joining Maymont, he served as executive director of four Tennessee museums from 1987 to 2001, including Belle Meade Plantation, Chattanooga Regional History Museum, Rocky Mount Museum and Sam Davis Historical Site and Museum. Burns is active in the museum field nationally. He serves as treasurer and council member for the American Association of State and Local History. Burns earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in history from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. He and wife Sandy have three grown sons.

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Thought Leadership Articles

Finding Community and Places for Civil Discourse in a Divided America
As we close out another contentious year in our nation's history, we face troubling divisions in our politics, increases in hate crimes and growing disdain for those with views different than our own. Civility is under attack and we need to create more opportunities and safe places for civil discourse across America. READ MORE

Society Needs the Arts, Humanities
Museums build bridges across cultures, generations
I trust we all agree that the arts and humanities presented nobly at America’s museums make the world a better place to live and learn. Museums play a critical role in helping us rediscover and rewire our societal DNA between the two hemispheres of thought and action. READ MORE

Conner Prairie joins museums around the globe in support of the History Relevance campaign
In its continuing push to advocate for the future of museums, Conner Prairie will join more than 150 similar institutions around the globe in an online campaign to promote teaching and learning history. History Relevance is a group of history professionals that has adopted a value statement to promote the importance of teaching and learning history. READ MORE

Norman's Notes
Norman's Notes is a bi-monthly e-publication of news and views from the president's desk. Below you will find links to past issues. If you would like to subscribe to Norman’s Notes, please send your name and email address to Executive Assistant to the President Emma St. Dennis.