Benoit-Grzyb’s Guidance Has Helped the Fitchburg Art Museum Grow
FITCHBURG -- Growing up in Lunenburg in the 1980s, Lynne Benoit-Grzyb encountered a lot of the realities most children in small towns face.
“Having my first 18 years be in this area was really exciting and fulfilling in its own right, but I think after we start to grow and develop as individuals, we start to get a little antsy to find what else is out there in the world,” said the Fitchburg Art Museum trustee of 14 years. “People start to say that there’s nothing to do around here.”
Looking for a change, she moved to New York City after graduating high school and enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Technology. The degree she earned there would help steer her into her career as an interior designer, but Benoit-Grzyb’s lessons learned outside the classroom would prove instrumental in her journey home.
As Benoit-Grzyb explained, she was going to a lot of museums and events at the time, which is how she heard about a partnership New York’s Lincoln Center had formed with the Fitchburg Art Museum she had grown up visiting.
“I had this epiphany,” she said. “I realized you don’t have to be in a particular cool place for things to be happening. It’s about people making the place and volunteering to be a part of that.”
The result of that epiphany was nearly 20 years of volunteering at the Fitchburg Art Museum, the bulk of which was spent as a member of the museum’s board of trustees.
As she prepares to step down from the board after 14 years to move to Rhode Island, Benoit-Grzyb is reflecting on the ways the museum has had an impact on her and vice-versa.
“It’s just been an incredible growth opportunity for me as an individual, both personally and professionally,” she said.
In her nearly 20 years at the museum, Benoit-Grzyb said her proudest accomplishments have included serving on the museum’s education and development committees, as well as being part of the search for a successor to former director Peter Timms, who had worked at the museum for 40 years.
She said the decision to hire current director Nick Capasso had been a unanimous one.
“He really understood we had a great passion around community and art. He really saw that vision,” Benoit-Grzyb recalled.
Benoit-Grzyb is now finishing up a new re-branding campaign for the museum before she steps down from the board of trustees, which she hopes will leave a more modern public image for the museum. She also said that she hopes the spirit of Eleanor Norcross, the museum’s founder, endures in Fitchburg.
“I hope that her vision and heart continues and that it sparks other individuals who are in this area to carry on the idea that having art and culture in a community is just such an important thing,” she said.
Follow Peter Jasinski on Twitter @PeterJasinski53.