Henry Sweets' decision to step down from full-time duties as the Mark Twain Boyhood Home executive director will mark a new chapter as the Mark Twain Home Foundation conducts the search for a successor.
Sweets has been with the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum for 42 years, and he will continue with a variety of projects when he steps down from his full-time role Dec. 31. Members of the Museum Board are seeking eligible candidates for the job through July 31. Amid a career that spanned the acquisition of several historic properties and the restoration of each of the museum's historic structures, Sweets is looking forward to the chance to spend more family time while he focuses on some projects that will keep local history thriving.
"Having a two-year-old granddaughter and another grandchild on the way and wanting to spend more time with family is the main reason I'm deciding to step down as the executive director of the museum," he said.
Sweets said the part-time role of museum curator will allow him the opportunity to finish several projects, including adding records to the collections database and helping with changes in some of the exhibits. He also will continue to edit the historical publication The Fence Painter and lead the annual Teacher Workshop.
Sweets said members of the Museum Board will review applications from eligible candidates for the executive director position, and the job description and qualifications are posted on the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum's website.
Sweets commended the supportive members of the Museum Board, stressing how historic properties have been added to share with the public. He said restoration work at the Pilaster House marks the conclusion of preservation work for all of the historic properties. When he came onboard Jan. 1, 1978, those properties included the former museum building, the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and adjacent garden, the Pilaster House, the J.M. Clemens law office and the Tom and Huck Statue. Over the years, the Interpretive Center, Huck Finn House, Becky Thatcher House and Museum Gallery have been added to the list of destinations telling numerous stories about Mark Twain and the inspirational figures and community that shone through in his literature.
"Through these years, the museum has greatly increased its offering to the public," Sweets said.
Candidates interested in applying for the executive director position can contact President Mike McKay, Mark Twain Home Foundation, 120 N. Main St. or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The job description and qualifications can be found on the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum website at https://www.marktwainmuseum.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/CEO-ED-on-Letterhead.pdf.