UNC Charlotte alumna Adria Focht served the Charlotte Museum of History as its president and CEO for four years before resigning in late 2021 to study permaculture design in an international program by Oregon State University. Focht came to the museum from the Kings Mountain Historical Museum, where she was director and curator. Focht worked to broaden the understanding of Charlotte's history, including that of indigenous and Black people. She championed the Save Siloam School Project, which seeks to relocate a school built in the Rosenwald-era to educate Black children. The effort would move the school from its location in the rapidly developing University City area to the museum property to be used as an educational site.
Focht earned bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and art from UNC Charlotte in 2005. She has worked with UNC Charlotte faculty members and students on collaborative efforts. As one example, Karen Cox's graduate students in the public history program in the Department of History have been studying the museum's initiative to preserve the Siloam Schoolhouse, a now-dilapidated early 20th century school built for rural African American children in the vicinity of what's now UNC Charlotte. Additionally, Focht has been supportive of the college's efforts, such as through a roundtable of Anthropology Department alumni who talked with students about career options. Read more