“Adler Planetarium Promotes Yoo-Jin Hong to V.P., Guest Experiences,” by S.M. O’Connor

The Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago announced on August 14, 2019 the promotion of Yoo-Jin Hong as the new Vice President, Guest Experience.  She will report to the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum President & Chief Executive Officer Michelle B. Larson, Ph.D.  The Adler Planetarium stated Ms. Hong “will be leading the creation of innovative, bold, and visionary guest experiences for the Adler to elevate its position in the market and help expand its reach locally, nationally, and globally.”

“I am inspired by the opportunity to help generations of audiences discover the joy of seeing the Moon through a telescope, be stirred by our planetarium shows, and make meaning when looking up at the night sky,” stated Ms. Hong. “As the Adler continues on its ambitious upward path toward its centennial, I look forward to further strengthening the way we create lasting memories through astronomy and space science.”

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Figure 1 Credit: Adler Planetarium Caption: This is the west elevation of the Alder Planetarium & Astronomy Museum at the northwestern corner of Northerly Island.

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Figure 2 Credit: Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum Caption: This is Yoo-Jin Hong, whom Adler Planetarium President and C.E.O. Michelle B. Larson promoted to Vice President, Guest Experience in August.

In September of 2018, Yoo-Jin Hong joined the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum as Senior Director, Guest Experience after fifteen years in the performing arts sector.  She was Director of Learning and Leadership Programs at the League of American Orchestras from May of 2016 to August of 2018.  According to the Adler Planetarium, she was “working to increase public value and relevance of cultural institutions in society.  As Director of Learning and Leadership Programs at the League of American Orchestras, Hong developed leadership programs, conferences, and grants programs that addressed important issues in the arts and ignited organizational change efforts across the field.”

Previously, she was Director of Civic Orchestra and Training Programs at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association from January of 2010 to May of 2016.  She oversaw the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, a ninety-member professional training ensemble for orchestral musicians.  According to the Adler Planetarium, “During her time as the Director of Civic Orchestra and Training Programs, Hong elevated the orchestra’s artistic experience and deepened its civic engagement in the greater Chicago area.”

From 2005 to 2009, she was Manager of Operations and Education Programs at the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, where she started a new string ensemble for Chicago Public Schools (C.P.S.) students.

“Having risen to the top of a national, competitive executive search process, we are thrilled to promote Yoo-Jin to the Adler’s executive team,” stated Dr. Larson. “Her extensive background in guest experience, program design, and community engagement is a tremendous asset to our organization. Her skills in team leadership and in developing distinctive programs and initiatives will further leverage the inspiring nature of the Adler’s collections and exhibitions.”

As a classically trained flutist, Ms. Hong has two degrees in music from the University of Miami and a third degree, in orchestral studies, from Roosevelt University here in Chicago. The Adler Planetarium noted, “She is an avid long distance runner and triathlete.”

The Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum is located at the northeastern corner of Northerly Island, which is really a peninsula.  It is the only island from a chain of artificial islands Daniel Hudson Burnham, Senior (1846-1912) and Edward H. Bennett (1874-1954) called for in the Plan of Chicago.  Northerly Island is part of the Chicago Park District’s Burnham ParkThe Field Museum of Natural History, the John G. Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum comprise the Museum Campus at the northern end of Burnham Park, east of Grant Park in downtown Chicago.  Soldier Field and the Lakeside Center of McCormick Place are immediately south of the Museum Campus.  The Arie Crown Theater is inside the Lakeside Center.

Normally, the Adler Planetarium is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  It is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from Memorial Day (May 27, 2019) through Labor Day (September 2, 2019) and during “Winter Break” from Thursday, December 26, 2019 through Wednesday, January 1, 2020.  The Adler Planetarium will close early at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 7, 2019.  It will be closed on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 28, 2019) and Christmas Day (Wednesday, December 25, 2019).

The address is 1300 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605.  The phone number is (312) 922-7827.  The Website U.R.L. is https://www.adlerplanetarium.org.

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