The new director and CEO of the Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom in Tallinn, Karen Jagodin, visited the Latvian Museum in Rockville, and the JBANC office on May 4.
Ms Jagodin was in the United States during Vabamu’s 20th anniversary this year to promote new initiatives and future exhibits in the U.S. and Canada.
According to their website, the Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom and its affiliated KGB Prison Cells is the largest active non-profit museum in Estonia. The museum is managed by the Kistler-Ritso Estonian Foundation. Its mission is “to educate the people of Estonia and its visitors about the recent past, sense the fragility of freedom, and advocate for justice and the rule of law.” It was founded by Olga Kistler-Ritso, an Estonian-American refugee, in partnership with the Estonian government. In addition to the Museum of Occupations and Freedom and the KGB prison cells, Vabamu has initiated a youth engagement program NoVa and develops global connections in partnership with Stanford University Libraries.
Karen Jagodin has worked in the field of art and culture since 2005. She graduated from the Estonian Academy of Art in art theory and University College London, Bartlett School of Architecture with an MA in architectural history. Before joining Vabamu, Karen worked at the Museum of Estonian Architecture and the Estonian Maritime Museum and has led major projects on the museum scene. She is a member of the Estonian Museum Association and the Estonian Society of Art Historians and Curators.
The American Latvian Association (ALA) Latvian Museum in Rockville, Maryland, opened again to the public in December 2022, currently by appointment only. The museum has been operating since 1979, with recent upgrades including audiovisual components and a reimagining of the entire exhibition. Ms Jagodin met with the Museum’s Visitor Services Coordinator Renate Gravers and JBANC Managing Director Karl Altau. For more information or to visit the Latvian Museum, please contact Ms. Gravers at (240) 825-5574 or [email protected].