SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- The Museum of the African Diaspora
(MoAD) today announced the appointment of Grace C. Stanislaus as its new Executive Director effective November 9th. After a careful and thoughtful search process, the Board of Directors selected Ms. Stanislaus to lead the young and dynamic organization, which is based in the cultural district of downtown San Francisco near the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Ms. Stanislaus joins MoAD after eleven years at the Romare Bearden Foundation in New York where she was most recently its President and CEO, leading the organization through a critical decade of program and operational growth.
I am honored and excited to be joining MoAD at this important time in its growth and development, Ms. Stanislaus said. I am especially looking forward to working with its passionate and enthusiastic community supporters, San Franciscos cultural leadership, as well as with its Board of Directors and the very supportive San Francisco Redevelopment Agency. We clearly have the kind of support required during these challenging economic times to advance MoADs mission and to participate in creative collaborations that will enable it to grow, flourish and to be one of the Bay Areas premier cultural destinations, Ms. Stanislaus added.
Ernie Urquhart, Chair of MoADs Board spoke on behalf of its members when he said, After a careful and thoughtful search, the Board of Directors chose Ms. Stanislaus to lead this young institution to the next level of preeminence for our community and beyond. Under her leadership we believe MoAD will continue to extend its mission with high quality programs and products to educate and engage around the African Diaspora. She is a great addition.
Fred Blackwell, Executive Director of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency noted that Grace brings the museum programmatic expertise, as well as critical administrative leadership skills that are increasingly vital to the success of cultural institutions in the 21st century. In a city and region as culturally sophisticated as the San Francisco Bay Area, MoAD must compete with multiple cultural venues, and, therefore, requires leadership skills and experience in order to reach a wide range of audiences, and deliver effectively MoADs mission. We welcome Grace to the leadership team, and look forward to working closely and supportively with her as she takes MoAD to its next level of appreciation and community value.
Luis R. Cancel, Director of Cultural Affairs for San Francisco, said I want to commend the MoAD Board of Directors for conducting their national search and attracting Grace to San Francisco to lead the museum in its next stage of growth and public service. I have had the pleasure of working collaboratively with her in New York and I am certain she will use her considerable museum skills and contacts to attract world-class exhibitions.
In her previous experience, Ms. Stanislaus served as the Senior Vice President of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh, as well as Executive Director of the Museum for African Art in New York. She also served as the Director of the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem, where she began her professional career. Ms. Stanislaus has earned a reputation for building the institutional strength and the capacity of each organization to better serve and expand audiences through quality programs. Over a career that has spanned more than twenty-five years, Ms. Stanislaus has brought her experience as an arts administrator to the service of small to large nonprofits as co-founder of a New York-based management consultant firm.
A graduate of Columbia University with a Masters degree in art history and of Fordham University with a bachelors degree in art history, from which she graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, Ms. Stanislaus is known for her intellectual rigor in scholarship and programming. She has organized important exhibitions and written and lectured nationally and internationally about African and African American art, artists and cultural issues. At the Romare Bearden Foundation, she organized a groundbreaking collaborative program with over twenty cultural and educational organizations across New York Citys five boroughs. Ms. Stanislaus is a member of ArtTable, a national organization of women in leadership position in the arts, which has a chapter in San Francisco.