Penny Peavler, Instructor
Penny Peavler holds a bachelor of arts degree in Creative Writing with minors in Appalachian Studies and Business from the University of Kentucky, and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Bellarmine.
Penny is a veteran arts administrator with 30+years in all aspects of the field. Trained at Disney University in theme park management, she came to Louisville in 1990 to help open Kentucky Kingdom Amusement Park. There she served as personnel director,
hiring and training the park's 1200 seasonal employees, and also as director of special projects. Afterwards, she joined the staff of Louisville’s Speed Art Museum as Director of Membership, Marketing, and Special Projects and served for 13
years growing participation and attendance by more than 50%. She led teams for the Leadership and Excellence in Arts Participation grant of the Wallace Foundation studying, over four years, the patterns of museum attendance among participants and
disinclined participants with children ages 2 to 12.
In 2007, she joined Weber Group, as Director of Brand Development, and worked with museums, zoos, amusement parks, theatres, hotels, and attractions of all types in brand development and project management of new and renovated attractions. Favorite projects
include the Mister Rogers Neighborhood Attraction at Idlewild Park in Pittsburgh, the ground-up museum at the Outdoor Adventure and Discovery Center in Detroit, Michigan, and educational video scriptwriting and production for Glacier Run at Louisville
In 2015, she was recruited as Chief Executive Officer of Frazier History Museum. Peavler negotiated the contract with the Kentucky Distillers’ Association to make the Frazier in Louisville into the Official Start of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. She
led design, development, and construction of a new entrance, native plants garden, and an exhibit on the history of bourbon, America’s Native Spirit, and its impact on the Commonwealth. She delivered the $9 million project on-time and on-budget.
Under her leadership, the Frazier became the place where the world meets Kentucky, and she brought temporary and permanent exhibits to life about Kentucky’s culture and her people. Attendance and revenue reached all time highs under her leadership.
She joined the Board of Directors in August of 2019 and stepped down as CEO.
Peavler formed Cultural Tourism Consultants, to create and renovate tourism concerns in the region. She is currently project managing feasibility for the transition of an abandoned surface coal mine into a space for arts incubation, nature, land conservation,
and education in Eastern Kentucky.
Peavler is featured in the book, Diversity Among Non-Profit Arts Organizations (University of Chicago Press, 2001), and edited the Handbook of the Speed Art Museum Collection (2007), and the Catalog for the Retrospective of the Artist Mary Ann Currier
She has produced and art directed more than 30-temporary and permanent museum exhibitions including What Is A Vote Worth: Suffrage Then and Now, Spirits of the Bluegrass: Prohibition and Kentucky, The Spirit of Kentucky, and Thomas Merton: A Familiar
She is the 2019 recipient of the Trustees of Inclusive Equity Award given by Louisville Central Community Center.
She is a Commissioner of Louisville Tourism, a member of the Kentucky Humanities Council, and has taught arts administration at Bellarmine since 2010