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Headlands Center for the Arts announces new Executive Director
Robles is an arts leader, educator, and organizer who is coming to Headlands after working with several arts and social impact organizations.

SAUSALITO, CALIF.- Headlands Center for the Arts announced Maricelle (Mari) Robles as its next Executive Director. Robles is an arts leader, educator, and organizer who is coming to Headlands after working with several arts and social impact organizations, including Prospect.5 New Orleans and Elevate Prize Foundation. She has a longstanding career history working at the intersection of art and education, including as the Educator-in-Charge, Public Programs and Engagement at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She will assume the position of Executive Director on December 14, 2020.

Robles is passionate about building meaningful relationships between the arts and new and broad communities, and is driven by the desire to connect people of all backgrounds to quality arts education. As a Latinx woman of Puerto Rican heritage, Robles has focused her career on making art more accessible and welcoming to all, and on creating inclusive experiences both within and outside of art organizations’ walls.

“I’ve encouraged a reciprocal relationship between artists and art institutions for much of my career, and the idea of continuing that work at Headlands, which truly values artists and the creative process, is very exciting to me,” said Robles. “I’m really looking forward to guiding Headlands through this next phase, as we continue to run a celebrated international artist residency program, while also creating more engagement with Bay Area artists and audiences alike. Headlands offers a space to think and create, which is what I admire most about it, as that space is valuable not only to artists, but to the public as well. I hope to be able to create more opportunities for people to celebrate and experience creativity in the coming years.”

Robles succeeds sharon maidenberg as Executive Director, a position maidenberg held for more than eleven years. A committee of Headlands staff and current and past board members began an international search with Koya Partners shortly after maidenberg announced her planned departure in February 2020, to find a candidate who believes in and reflects Headlands’ mission to create a place to foster artistic growth, and to bring the experience of contemporary art and the artistic process to people of all ages and backgrounds throughout the Bay Area.

“When we initially set out on our search to find a new Executive Director, we were open to taking our time to find the right person," said Board Chair Robin Strawbridge. "But after speaking with Mari, we quickly realized that we had found the perfect fit. Her career and personal interests in the arts genuinely mirror our mission here at Headlands. She shares our deep value for bringing the arts to everyone in the Bay Area, and for creating a space for artists to grow and thrive. She is passionate about arts education and the essential role of artists in society. We're unbelievably excited to have found such a wonderful candidate to lead our organization into this next decade."

Headlands Center for the Arts is a multidisciplinary international arts center that is dedicated to supporting the careers of artists by providing an unparalleled environment for the creative process and the development of new work and ideas. Located in the Marin Headlands – part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area – the organization serves a vital need, connecting visitors from throughout the Bay Area and beyond to artists’ work and processes, offering opportunities for reflection, dialogue, and exchange that build understanding and appreciation for the role of art in society.

Maricelle (Mari) Robles is an arts leader, educator, and organizer guided by a mission to connect people of all socioeconomic backgrounds to quality arts education. She holds a Master’s of Arts in art and design education from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and studied art history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Robles is working with Prospect.5 New Orleans as a Programming Partner. Previously, she held the position of Educator-in-Charge, Public Programs and Engagement at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she oversaw the programming areas of accessibility, public programs, creative practice, and audience development. She has served as the Deputy Director of Education and Public Programs at the Pérez Art Museum Miami and has held leadership roles at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the DreamYard Art Center.

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