The Arkansas Arts Center (AAC) has hired a new executive director to lead the museum.
The Little Rock-based museum has tapped Dr. Victoria Ramirez to serve as its new executive director. Ramirez comes to the AAC after serving as the director for the El Paso Museum of Art (EPMA) in Texas.
As the AAC executive director, Ramirez will be charged with leading the museum during its renovation period and “fulfilling the promise of the reimagined Arkansas Arts Center,” according to a AAC release.
In May, the museum kicked off a $128 million capital campaign to revitalize the AAC. The campaign will fund a redesign of the museum’s spaces, including renovations of existing spaces, as well as new additions such as a new visitor entrance hall.
Jeanne Gang and the Chicago-based firm Studio Gang are heading up the redesign.
A groundbreaking for the project is expected to be held in fall 2019, and the AAC is slated to have its grand opening in early 2022. While the construction is ongoing, the museum will be temporarily located at the Riverdale Shopping Center.
“As we continue on our journey toward the Grand Opening of the reimagined Arkansas Arts Center in 2022, Dr. Ramirez is an ideal choice for Executive Director. The renovation project is grand in scope and impact, and her experience and vision will be central to fulfilling the promise of the new Arkansas Arts Center,” fundraisingcampaign co-chair Warren Stephens said. “With the hiring of Dr. Ramirez, the Arts Center Board is reaffirming its commitment to the inspirational power and educational possibilities that art brings to the young people and adults in our city, state and region.”
Most recently, Ramirez oversaw the El Paso Museum of Art’s administration, operations and planning. As director, she was responsible for strategic planning. During her tenure, she expanded the museum’s art school, and the museum received the Medal of Honor by the Institution for Museum and Library Services “in recognition of dynamic programming and services.”
She previously served as the deputy director for the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas and was the W.T. and Louise J. Moran Education Director at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas.
Ramirez obtained an ED.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Houston, a master’s degree in museum education and art history from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Maryland.
“We are truly honored to welcome Dr. Ramirez to the Arkansas Arts Center,” Merritt Dyke, President of the Arts Center Board of Trustees, said. “Her deep experience in exhibitions, education, planning, and fundraising comes at the perfect time as we work to strengthen the Arkansas Arts Center as the regions’ premier center for the visual and performing arts. I’d like to offer my sincerest thanks to Laine Harber, our Chief Financial Officer, who has expertly served as the Interim Director of the Arts Center since August 2018.”