As Executive Director of the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY – the United States’ official cultural institution dedicated to the art of comedy – Journey Gunderson has led the planning, strategy, fundraising and creative development for this ambitious project, forging relationships with supporters that range from local community organizers to the halls of state and federal government, and from cultural philanthropists to legendary comedy innovators.
Under Journey’s direction, the National Comedy Center has led the way in 21st-century museum design, featuring state-of-the-art technology, interactivity and personalization for visitors of all ages, customized for their specific interests and tastes.
Based on the vision of Jamestown native Lucille Ball for her hometown in Western New York to become a destination for comedy, the Comedy Center showcases comedy’s great minds and unique voices in ways that educate, engage and inspire future generations.
Since its opening in 2018, the National Comedy Center was named “Best New Museum” in the country in 2020 by USA Today, one of the “World’s Greatest Places” by TIME magazine and one of “100 Reasons to Love America” by People magazine.
Journey has skillfully navigated the Comedy Center through the COVID era, raising significant funds to keep the museum on solid financial ground, while finding innovative ways to stay connected to comedy fans across the country.
Journey also serves as Executive Director of the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum and the acclaimed Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, both of which have reached new heights under her leadership.
Journey was named one of the Top 50 Museum Influencers in the world by Blooloop, has been cited as one of Buffalo Business First’s “Top-Forty-Under-Forty” and has been listed on its "Power Women" list annually since 2018.