Gina (Silveira) Huntsinger, BS 90
Director, Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center

Gina (Silveira) Huntsinger, BS 90, posing in Lucy’s booth from the Peanuts comic strip.
Huntsinger posing in Lucy’s booth from the Peanuts comic strip.

Starting as the director of the Charles M. Schulz Museum this past July, Gina Huntsinger had her work cut out for her. Namely, how to celebrate the beloved Peanuts cartoonist with a pandemic-closed museum. The challenge, Huntsinger knew, was critical. “People need this humor right now,” she says. “Charles Schulz was great because he didn’t just stay with the easy parts of life. He really dug into depression, feeling like a loser, not always winning—themes we can relate to today.”

Huntsinger successfully transitioned the museum to virtual programming and curriculum by relying on agility and flexibility and by planning two weeks at a time. “I said to our staff, let’s be better for this,” Huntsinger says. “That means we have to be open to looking at the stuff that’s not working and taking care of those things personally and in business.”

The result? Virtual access has broadened the museum’s reach in transformative ways. Cartooning classes for children, talks by renowned artists previously limited by distance, and an intimate virtual tour with Schulz’s widow, Jean Schulz, have become foundational. “Those are the magical pieces in this,” Huntsinger says. “When we open up again…there will be things that we’ll keep.”

Huntsinger started her career at the museum as marketing director in 2005 and later served as general manager of the Snoopy’s Home Ice skating rink. Leading the museum, she says, is a professional and personal honor. “We have to feel good about what we are doing in this world, especially now.”