The Austin Museum of Art
(AMOA) announces several organizational changes. “I’m proud to announce the promotion of Judith Sims to Senior Director of Education,” said Dana Friis-Hansen, AMOA Executive Director. “In addition, AMOA will begin the search for a new Chief Curator. Both of these changes will allow the Museum to better focus on serving its varied audiences through strengthened education and exhibition programs.”
Sims has served as the Director of the AMOA-Art School for the last thirty-five years and brings a tremendous wealth of knowledge and experience to the position. During her tenure with the Museum, Sims has created innovative programming and outreach including film and video, spearheaded three successful renovations at Laguna Gloria, and served as the Executive Producer of a statewide PBS television series The Territory for the past 25 years. Sims’ new role will unite The Art School and the Education Departments. In conjunction with this promotion, AMOA will also begin the search for a new Chief Curator.
Two key goals of the AMOA strategic plan initiated in 2008 were to build better connections between AMOA-Laguna Gloria, The Art School, and the Downtown Education Department, as well to strengthen our curatorial programs.
“The Museum plans to tie the two sites more closely together with educational programming, an area of major strength for AMOA,” said Sims. “The desire to learn is part of human DNA, and since 1961 the Museum has been actively engaged in deepening our visitors’ contact with art—through hands-on instruction, films, intimate discussions with artists, music, performance, and much more. The Education and Art School Departments both include tremendously talented people. I think we can create a new synergy by working closer together to make art and education a part of the fabric of Austin’s daily life.”
This promotion comes as a part of a reorganization that coincides with the departure of Eva Buttacavoli, AMOA’s current Director of Exhibitions and Education. Buttacavoli has served as head of both departments since 2002. She is relocating to Dayton, Ohio and will be creating and working on a variety of new opportunities.
“I have been enriched by my 15+ year career as an arts administrator, curator, educator, and community collaborator; witnessing and contributing to the growth of the social, cultural, and economic landscape in both Miami, Florida and these past 8+ years in Austin, Texas,” said Buttacavoli. “I am looking forward to refocusing my career on my strengths in arts education and communitybuilding. I will be working on collaborations throughout Ohio, including an artist residency program and a series of exhibitions and public programs.”