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New Director Hopes To Make Jamaica Museum 'Nationally Known'

 Nadezhda Williams is the new executive director of the King Manor Museum.
Nadezhda Williams is the new executive director of the King Manor Museum.
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DNAinfo.com/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska/King Manor Museum

QUEENS — The new executive director of the King Manor Museum in downtown Jamaica said she hopes to make the local gem "nationally known."

Nadezhda Williams took over the museum — which was once the home of Rufus King, a founding father and senator from New York — last week when its previous head, Mary Anne Mrozinski, retired after 26 years.

The two-story building, which was originally built in the 1750s, was designated a city landmark in 1966. Located in Rufus King Park, near Jamaica Avenue and 153rd Street, the museum is known for organizing chamber music concerts, lectures and workshops for children. 

Its mission includes educating visitors about "the role of Rufus King and his sons as national figures in the early anti-slavery movement," according to the museum's website.

King was also one of the framers of the United States Constitution and served as ambassador to Great Britain, according to the museum.

“It’s a great place and it’s got such a wonderful story that I think people don’t know about and that we want to get out more,” said Williams, who in the past worked as an educator and curator at the museum. 

“It should be nationally known ... it's obviously a big job but I think that’s the ultimate goal.”

Williams also said she wants to start using the museum's second floor to organize changing exhibits to "give people a reason to come back."

The new head of the museum said her job is what she always wanted to do. 

“I’ve always loved history," she said. "I was the kid dragging my parents to the museum.”

Williams, a Woodside resident, holds a bachelors degree in historic preservation from the University of Mary Washington.

She earned her master’s degree in museum studies from the Fashion Institute of Technology, writing her thesis on the formation of the King Manor Association and the early years of the museum.  

She also worked at Ellis Island, The Jewish MuseumFraunces Tavern Museum as well as at the Historic Districts Council, an organization advocating for the preservation of New York's historic buildings.