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story.lead_photo.caption Victoria Ramirez

The Arkansas Arts Center’s board of trustees agreed Tuesday to hire its next executive director, selecting El Paso Museum of Art Director Victoria Ramirez to fill a position that had been handled on a fill-in basis for the past year.

Ramirez, 49, is tentatively scheduled to start Oct. 1, board President Merritt Dyke said after the vote. Her compensation package was not immediately available.

Ramirez has 20 years of executive-level museum administration experience, according to a news release circulated immediately after the unanimous vote. Prior to leading the El Paso museum, she worked as deputy director of the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin.

Her arrival will coincide with groundbreaking on the $128 million makeover of the downtown Little Rock museum.

“The Arkansas Arts Center is a jewel for Little Rock and the region, and the project to re-envision the Arts Center will undoubtedly usher in the most expansive era in the institution’s history,” Ramirez said in a printed statement.

Former Executive Director Todd Herman left the museum in August 2018 to take a new job in North Carolina. Chief Financial Officer Laine Harber has served as the interim executive director since Herman left.

Harber, who said he did not apply for the full-time job, said after the meeting he would like to remain with the museum.

“I hope I’ll have the opportunity to stay on,” he said.

Read Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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