Rhode Island Colonial Charter: 1663-2013

350th anniversary of Rhode Island's "lively experiment" in religious freedom

Ken Yellis

yellis_2Ken Yellis is a historian with almost four decades in the museum field. A graduate of Antioch College with graduate degrees from the University of Rochester and the George Washington University, Ken has played a role in more than a hundred history, science, and art exhibitions, as well as many school and public programs, publications, and media. From 2008 through 2011, Ken served as grant writer and content developer for a major new exhibition, The Brooklyn Navy Yard: Past, Present and Future, winning two grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the project and writing virtually all of the exhibition script.

In 2009, Ken moved to Rhode Island in 2001 to serve as Museum Director at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and later served as a Public Humanities Fellow at the John Nicholas Brown Center at Brown University (2007) and worked for the Touro Synagogue Foundation (2008). Previously he worked at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, Plimoth Plantation, and the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. He is now Principal of Project Development Services, which specializes in exhibition and program planning, grant readiness and preparation, and publication and media development.

At present, among other projects, he is Guest Curator for Jews in the American Civil War (working title), opening at the Center for Jewish History in New York in March 2013. He is also Project Coordinator for the Newport Historical Society’s “The Spectacle of Toleration,” a multi-year state-wide project examining the issues and multiple dimension of Rhode Island’s 1663 Lively Experiment Charter. Ken has served as the Chair of the Museum Education Roundtable and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Museum Education. He has published articles and essays in The Public Historian, American Quarterly, The Museologist, Museum, Discovery, The ALHFAM Annual, Journal of Museum Education, Curator: The Museum Journal, Exhibitionist, Seaport Magazine, ARTES, Providence Journal, and other publications.

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