Team News

Meet Meghan! Our Interim Director

We are so excited to share the news that Meghan Fraser McGroganis is now the Interim Director of the Utica Children's Museum! Read on to learn more about Meghan, her leadership, and what's next coming up for the Utica Children's Museum! 

Tell us about yourself! 

I grew up locally in Whitesboro and attended SUNY Oswego where I graduated with a bachelor's degree in English. After graduation, I returned to the area and began my career in Marketing and Public Relations at the F.X. Matt Brewing Company, makers of Saranac and Utica Club (and some amazing soft drinks for the kiddos!) In this role, I had a ton of fun spreading the word about the F.X. Matt family of brands on both local and national levels for nearly 8 years. 

In 2014, I moved on to the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce as their Director of Membership and Events. A year later in 2015, I was appointed as the Chamber’s Executive Director where I had the pleasure of working with an amazing team to support our local business and non-profit community for 6 years.

In February 2021, I left the Chamber to join my husband Ryan at his company, McGrogan Design, to expand services into public relations and marketing. In 2020, Ryan and I also opened Commonworker-a shared office community for small business owners. Commonworker is the home to 5 small businesses, including McGrogan Design, and offers a comfortable, community working environment with shared amenities. 

I also enjoy volunteering for local organizations like the Boilermaker Road Race as media coordinator and Sadaquada Golf Club as a board member and membership chair. 

I currently live in the Greater Utica Area with Ryan, our 6 year old son Peter, and our yellow lab, Lucy. An interesting fact about our family is Peter was born prematurely and only weighed 1 lb 11 oz!


What is your history with the Museum? 

Growing up in the area, I have many memories of visiting the Children’s Museum with my family. My grandma was always very involved in the community and used to bring me often. I have lots of memories running up and down the stairs and spending lots of time at various events at the museum!

Later in my adult life, as the Executive Director of the Chamber, I frequently attended events and fundraisers for the museum. I became directly involved as a board member in 2021, and served as the board president from 2022 through January 2024. 

What are three words to describe your personality? 

Energetic, Determined, Hospitable

What is your favorite part about being Interim Museum Director? 

Right now, it’s a super exciting time as we plan for the opening of our NEW museum. My favorite part is the energy and FUN surrounding the project. Being a part of a project like this that will have such a lasting impact on our community is just so special. I love seeing all of the moving parts coming together working with our designers and fabricators! 


What are some of the goals of the Children’s Museum? 

Our mission is to offer an environment that supports every child’s natural curiosity to learn through hands-on play-based exploration. Within that mission we hope to provide a safe, fun & energetic space for children and their families to be excited about visiting! We are working hard to ensure we have programming that is engaging, educational and fun. We are also focused on ensuring we are inclusive of all children, regardless of their ability, learning style or background. You’ll find the theme “love where you live” is threaded throughout our galleries and exhibits, with the goal of getting our children excited about our region and the amazing opportunities that surround them. 

If you were a kid visiting the museum, what exhibit would you spend the most time in?

That might be the hardest question here! My instant reaction is the Cloud Lounge in our Seasons Gallery. Even the name sounds relaxing as I type it! We’ll have huge, comfy pillows to lay on and as you look up, you’ll look up at clouds on the ceiling that will have a projection on them. Not only will it be relaxing, children (and adults!) will learn about all different types of clouds. 

Everyone’s asking: when will you be open to play? 

Everyone IS asking! We are working hard every day to open as soon as humanly possible, but we won’t open until it’s juuuuuust right. While we are all anxious to open our doors, each piece of the museum is custom fabricated, specifically for our museum. While the building itself is ready to go, this custom fabrication happens off site and then has to be installed. With six galleries and nearly 60 interactive exhibits, that's a LOT of pieces that need to come together. Right now I can say we are planning to open some time in 2024. We promise to share exciting updates along the way as we have them, so be sure to join our email list and follow us on Facebook and Instagram

What is one of your favorite things you did as a kid?

Some of my favorite memories growing up are in the Adirondacks where we would spend a week with our good family friends each year. We weren’t allowed to watch TV unless it rained, and even then the options were pretty much limited to Ghostbusters on VHS! We swam, hiked, played games and just enjoyed being kids! 

Which children’s book or story is your favorite and why? 

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff. My Aunt Sarah used to read it to me and it is just one of those books that has always stuck with me. Ryan and I read it with Peter all the time – it has also become one of his favorites! 

If you could have any celebrity or fictional character come and do a program at the new museum, who would it be and why? 

It’s honestly a toss-up between Dolly Parton and Josh Allen.

Dolly Parton because she’s an icon! At the age of 77 she continues to be unapologetically herself and has dedicated her life to helping others. I highly recommend checking out NPR’s Dolly Parton’s America podcast.  

 Josh Allen because…

  • GO BILLS!  
  • He’s Peter’s favorite football player (and probably the only one he knows)!
  • I think it would be great for kids to hear a story of perseverance and never giving up. To me, as frustrating as it is to be a Bills fan, it fills me with hope! 

In your opinion, what is the most essential thing a children's museum can do to impact a child's life positively?

Be a safe, positive and welcoming space for not only children, but their caregivers as well.