FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 13, 2016
ToonSeum Names John Kelly Executive Director — Comics Historian to Lead Pittsburgh’s Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art
PITTSBURGH, PA – Long-time comics historian John F. Kelly has been named the new Executive Director of the ToonSeum, Pittsburgh’s Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art. The announcement was made today by ToonSeum President Rob Rogers and Kelly’s position begins immediately.
Kelly, who has written extensively about comics since the late 1980s, had been serving as Vice President of the Museum since June, 2016 and has been heavily involved with it since moving to Pittsburgh in 2011. He has written for The Comics Journal magazine since the early 1990s and his work has appeared in DC Comics, among other publications. A New York native, Kelly is the former Senior Vice President of Communications at the National Basketball Association and also served in senior communications roles at Catholic Charities of the Archdioceses of New York and Columbia University.
“John is a perfect fit for the ToonSeum,” said Rob Rogers, ToonSeum President, “because first and foremost, he is a true comics geek who loves the field of cartooning and has made it his life’s passion. John was a dedicated fan and enthusiastic supporter of the ToonSeum long before getting involved on the board. He understands our mission and he understands the challenges we face as a non-profit arts organization in Pittsburgh. We are very optimistic about the ToonSeum’s future with John at the helm. He brings much needed energy and vision to our little corner of the Cultural District.”
As Executive Director, Kelly will run the day-to-day operations of the Museum as well as head up long-term planning, fundraising and strategy. As Vice President of The ToonSeum, Kelly oversaw the daily operations of the Museum and most recently curated the current DRAW ME! show, which displays more than 100 rare pieces of art from America’s Cartooning Schools, How-to-Cartoon books, and Forgotten Artist Supplies.
“When I moved to Pittsburgh several years ago, one of the very the first people I met was Joe Wos, the founder and long-time Executive Director of The ToonSeum,” said Kelly. “It is an honor to now lead a place that was so welcoming to me in those early days. I look forward to the many opportunities and challenges that we will face in the future.”
Located in Pittsburgh’s historical Cultural District, the ToonSeum is one of the very few museums in the world dedicated to celebrating and showcasing the art of comics and cartoons. 2017 will mark its 10th anniversary.