Kari Fantasia

Kari Fantasia

Deputy Director, External Affairs

B.A., St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana

Role in Museum: 

Responsible for building strategic partnerships with various corporations and foundations to the make the Museum’s exhibitions and programs a reality.


Conservation and rededication of Alexander Calder’s Gwenfritz, creation of the Innovation Wing -  Gateway to Innovation, American Enterprise exhibition, Places of Invention exhibition, Patrick F. Taylor Object Project, Draper Spark!Lab, and Wegmans Wonderplace.  Assisted with the funding efforts for the Museum’s American Democracy, Many Voices One Nation and FOOD exhibitions, and the Museum’s What it Means to Be American program series, and the Sting and J. Ralph event.  Continue to work on various Museum programs and events, such as the FOOD History Gala and Weekend; the Winemaker’s Dinner; the Philanthropy Initiative; Medicine and Science programs; as well as ongoing efforts for food, music, and theater.  Served as the Project Director for the Ruby Slippers Kickstarter Campaign.

Awards, Honors, and Special Recognition: 
  • 2013 Museum’s Peer Award for Collaboration for the FOOD in the Garden Series
  • 2014 Recipient of the Secretary’s Award for Excellence for Collaborative Spirit for the Raise It Up! America Innovates program
  • 2014 Museum’s Peer Award for Collaboration for the Raise It Up! America Innovates program
  • 2015 Recipient of the Smithsonian Institution’s Advancement Achievement Award
  • 2016  Museum’s Peer Award for Risk Taking for the Ruby Slipper Kickstarter Campaign
Professional Affiliations: 
  • Association of Fundraising Professionals
  • Girl Scouts of the National Capital Area