Each month, the Museum invites you to get to know the staff supporting our pillars to Honor, Connect, Inspire and Educate. Meet Kellyn Burkitt, our Grants Manager. Kellyn works with our Advancement team to lead the grant researching, writing and proposal process that supports Museum operations and initiatives.
Q: How have you connected to the Museum?
A: I am a huge History geek, and have a deep love for learning, art, and stories that my family and former teachers instilled in me from an early age. As a storytelling museum, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum combines all of these interests of mine into a really powerful experience honoring Veterans, military, and their families, and connecting them with the broader communities, that captivated me. I’m privileged to give back in this small way to those who gave so much through their service and sacrifice, to share the story of the Memorial and Museum, and to advance our mission to honor, connect, inspire, and educate through the work I do every day as Grants Manager.
Q: What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
A: When I’m not working, I am an avid bookworm, love to travel, and enjoy running – the more miles, the better!
Q: What are three words that best describe you?
A: Tenacious. Reflective. Wordy.
Q: We feature a “What We’re Reading” section each month on our website as part of NVMM Reads. What are you reading right now?
A: I just finished Sisters of the Resistance, a novel of Catherine Dior’s Paris Spy Network by Christine Wells.
Q: What is your favorite place within the Museum?
A: The “Letters Home” thematic alcove in the Museum’s permanent exhibits. Members of my extended family and close family friends served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I corresponded with them during their deployments when I was in elementary school. I still have and treasure the letters I received from my cousin Doug when he was stationed overseas. Being able to view the original handwriting and digitally transcribe those found in “Letters Home” at the Museum to read through different points in history from those who lived it, and to understand each person’s experience in their own words, really brings history to life for me. Plus, “Letters Home” holds my favorite artifact in the Museum: the letter written on the ice cream carton. It’s a remarkable piece with an incredible story behind it that I make sure to share with any visitor who will listen. I love how it shows that writing and stories –even in the most unexpected and unlikeliest of ways and places– can connect and inspire anytime, anywhere.
Q: Where is your favorite place in the world?
A: Geographically: Pink Sands Beach, Bahamas. I have wonderful memories walking the shore there as a teenager, and dreaming to be a professional writer one day. Pretty cool how those prayers were answered!
Otherwise: Surrounded by my loved ones at the dinner table is my favorite place to be.
Q: What is your personal motto, or your favorite quote?
A: Unsurprisingly, a favorite quote of mine pertains to writing and comes from the musical Hamilton: “Write day and night every second you’re alive, like you’re running out of time, like tomorrow won’t arrive, like you need it to survive…Write like history has its eyes on you.”