Beth Whisman- Cultural Arts and Children's Discovery Museum

Beth Whisman has served as director of the Cultural Arts Department and Children’s Discovery Museum since 2018. In this role, Whisman leads the teams responsible for highlighting the Arts offered in the Town of Normal, including the Children’s Discovery Museum, the Normal Theater and public events in Uptown Normal. 

From 2013 to 2018, Whisman worked with the nationally accredited McLean County Museum of History, first as the director of development and then as executive director. During her time there, Whisman successfully led a capital campaign exceeding its $3 million goal. 

Prior to that, Whisman worked with WJBC radio in a variety of roles, including news director, talk show host, reporter and anchor. During her tenure, Whisman helped lead the news team to many state and national awards including the national Edward R. Murrow awards for Overall Excellence and Best Newscast and the larger broadcast team’s national Marconi Award for National Radio Station of the Year. 

Whisman graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast/mass communication from Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond. She has been honored with multiple individual honors from the Associated Press and Women in Communication, and she was named a “20 Under 40” leader by The Pantagraph and McLean County Chamber of Commerce in 2016. In 2021, the Children’s Discovery Museum was honored with the Illinois Association of Museums’ top award of excellence for its COVID-19 response, having served more than 40,000 local children and caregivers with STEAM education during extended remote learning periods.  

Whisman has long volunteered in the community for many nonprofits and boards, including seven years co-leading a Girl Scouts troop in Normal, six years on the David Davis Mansion Foundation Board where she chaired its annual Glorious Garden Walk & Festival and seven years at the Baby Fold’s annual Festival of Trees. She also served four years as a Bloomington-Normal Airport Authority Board commissioner. 

Currently, Whisman serves on the boards of directors for the YWCA of McLean County and the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

To learn more about Children’s Discovery Museum operations for the Town, check out  What’s Normal Podcast. (note: all podcasts recorded pre-COVID)

Beth Whisman
  1. Beth Whisman

    Director of Cultural Arts