Grout Museum District Executive Director Announces Retirement

Posted on Friday, October 20, 2023

Billie Bailey, Executive Director of the Grout Museum District has announced her retirement, effective December 15, 2023.

Bailey began her career at the Grout Museum as its first intern in 1979. Lois Whittemore and Margo Dundon were co-directors and hired Bailey when she graduated from UNI in 1980. She worked in almost every department in the museum over the course of her career, spending time working with the collections, assisting with creating and installing exhibits and developing and leading programs for school children and the public.

Bailey was appointed by the Board to the position of Executive Director when Margo Dundon moved to a position in Jacksonville, Florida. During her 33 years as Director, Bailey led the District through many changes that included: two major additions to the main Grout building and the addition of the Bluedorn Science Imaginarium and the Snowden House, which joined the Rensselaer Russell House Museum.

Some of Bailey’s proudest accomplishments include procuring funding from a national source that established the Carl A. and Peggy J. Bluedorn Science Imaginarium; the creation of Museum School and expanding the program to serve every third grader in Black Hawk County; collaborating with the Friends of Grout Historic Houses and Jim Aronson Interior Design to update the Snowden House; launching and completing the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum addition and the Voices of Iowa Archive; and securing the support by vote of the citizens of Waterloo for their museum through the passage of the Cultural and Scientific Facilities Levy.

Bailey said, “I’ve had the great good fortune to work with so many incredible people over the years. I will miss being here every day but look forward to the next adventure and being able to spend more time with my granddaughter.”