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Back Home – Evansville Living Magazine

Back Home – Evansville Living Magazine

When Natalie Singer was a student at Scott Elementary School, the Reitz Home Museum was her ideal destination.

“It was one of the most beautiful trips I have ever taken,” says Singer, who took over the management of the museum on June 3.

Always involved in theater and choir, the North High School graduate earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from the University of Southern Indiana. Her ambitions led her to the Evansville Civic Theater as a box office and business development manager.

“For me, it was a natural progression to nonprofits because when I worked for smaller theaters, it worked the same way,” explains Singer. “It’s all about fundraising.”

She worked for the Girl Scouts of Southwestern Indiana, the Children’s Museum of Evansville, and WNIN before becoming executive director of the Henderson Area Arts Alliance in 2020. She has worked for nonprofit organizations for 15 years.

“I’ve been really lucky to have some incredible mentors over the years as well. And I think that’s part of what’s kept me in nonprofit work… what I’ve learned from them,” she says.

Although she had the opportunity to ignite her passion for the arts in Henderson, Kentucky, Singer still wanted to work in her hometown, and when the executive director position at the Reitz Home Museum at 112 Chestnut Street opened up, she felt a calling.

“I was really fascinated. It just captivated me more and more,” says Singer.

Her interest in history also drew her to the position. John Augustus Reitz completed construction of his namesake home in 1871, and it remained in his family until 1931. When the Reitz Home Preservation Society took it over in 1974, it had been a private home under the care of the Catholic Diocese of Evansville since 1944. Tess Grimm served as the society’s first executive director until her retirement in 2011, followed by Matt Rowe, who left the home in January.

“Every single piece here has a story, and I don’t know those stories yet. … I can’t wait to finally spill the beans, because there’s just so much to learn,” Singer says.

The museum’s gala event in September will celebrate the foundation’s 50th anniversary, and Singer hopes to work together to move the nonprofit forward. She also wants to build partnerships between the museum and other organizations in the Evansville area. nonprofit organizations and clubs. The 153-year-old house is in constant need of repairs and maintenance, and Singer’s experience in fundraising makes her well qualified to help the museum address these issues.

“There are already a lot of passionate people connected to the museum,” she says. The “history of the house is closely tied to the growth of Evansville. I’m so grateful for all the people who saw how great this house was and wanted to preserve it. There are a lot of people here who are passionate about historic preservation, and that’s so important.”