Power Lunch: Day at the Museum

The driving force behind the Please Touch Museum — Nancy Kolb — reflects on retiring after 21 years on the job, how to get stuff done in this city, and why it’s time for women to start running Philadelphia

SK: Maybe we can pass an ordinance to outlaw testosterone? But in the meantime, what will you do next?

NK: I need to breathe. I’ve been at this for 21 years. I want to get involved with some really interesting projects, like the Free Library, which is so important to children and families in the city. I want to help the Centennial District. This retirement has been a long time in the making. And I’m proud of the leadership track we’ve developed here, so my successor, Laura Foster, is homegrown.

SK: You really love it here?

NK: I totally love this town. I’ve been here forever. I love its museums. I just hope that we build a group of leaders, like you and me, who really believe in Philadelphia. In 2026, we’ll celebrate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration. We need to stake our claim on something big, and it needs to be built around history, and it needs to be done superbly well. And we need to sweep the doubting Thomases away.