The Museum of Art & History @ the McPherson Center Announces Resignation of Executive Director and Appointment of Interim Executive Director

September 9, 2010

The Museum of Art & History announced today that Paul Figueroa has resigned from his post as Executive Director for personal reasons. Since Figueroa joined the staff seven years ago, he has been a guiding influence in everything the Museum has undertaken. Over the last year, the Museum has created a new strategic plan in conjunction with an extensive community assessment project. Figueroa leaves the Museum in a strong and solid position to move forward. The Board of Trustees and staff appreciate his contributions and wish him well.

Paula Kenyon has been named the Interim Executive Director. Kenyon has served as the Director of Development at the Museum for the last year and a half. She brings a wealth of experience working in the local nonprofit sector, as well as previous museum experience. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies and a Master’s Degree in Anthropology, with an emphasis in Museum Studies.

The Museum has just completed a three-month community assessment project. Over 500 people contributed to the effort, commenting on the Museum’s programming, facility and interface with the community. A grant from the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County funded this important effort. The results of the community research, together with the Museum’s newly completed strategic plan, will be used to create new programs and opportunities to better serve Santa Cruz County residents and other visitors to the Museum.

Background:

The Museum of Art & History, located in downtown Santa Cruz, was established in 1996 with the merger of The Art Museum of Santa Cruz County (founded in 1979) and The History Museum of Santa Cruz County (founded in 1986). The mission of the Museum of Art & History is to “promote a greater understanding of contemporary art and Santa Cruz County history through exhibitions, collections and programs that benefit the County’s residents and visitors.” The museum has 3,485 square feet of gallery space, primarily devoted to rotating art exhibitions and 2,300 square feet devoted to a permanent Santa Cruz County history exhibit. The Museum’s three-story structure was built expressly as a museum after the 1989 earthquake. The museum also stages exhibitions at the County’s 800 square foot historic Octagon Building, adjacent to the Museum, and off site, utilizes historic Evergreen Cemetery as a living history classroom. The Museum of Art & History is the largest organization of its kind in Santa Cruz County.

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