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Lucas Museum appoints six women to leadership roles

Five of the six women hired are people of colour. The new hires at George Lucas’ museum, which is under construction, will help shape programs and policies for the institution.

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has appointed six women to leadership roles, including a chief curator, at the $1 billion museum in LA’s Exposition Park.

“I’m an advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, that’s a huge part of who I am,” said Sandra Jackson-Dumont, director and CEO of the Lucas Museum.

Five of the six hires are people of colour, and all are women. “But when I’m hiring, I’m looking for the best and most qualified candidates — and that was them,” she added (via LA Times).

Pilar Tompkins Rivas has been made chief curator and deputy director of curatorial and collections, while Nenette Luarca-Shoaf takes on the role of managing director of learning and engagement.

Pilar Tompkins Rivas is chief curator of Lucas Museum

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Amanda Hunt is now director of public programs and creative practice, Anais Disla is director of special events, Larissa Gentile is managing director of special projects, and Erica Neal is director of computing and infrastructure.

“Since I started in January, we have been building the extraordinary physical structure of the Lucas Museum,” said Jackson-Dumont. “We have also been building the leadership structure that will shape the programs, policies, and practices of this unprecedented institution.

“As we strive to become a vital source of education, inspiration, and dialogue for our close neighbors around Exposition Park, all the communities of Los Angeles, and people around the world, we could not be more thrilled with the team we have been able to recruit, and we are immensely proud to announce.

“Their varied points-of-view, individual expertise, and combined decades of experience will help us realize our efforts to expand the role of art and museums for society through visual storytelling.”

Nenette Luarca-Shoaf and Amanda Hunt in key roles

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Tompkins Rivas will join the Lucas Museum on July 13. She will provide leadership, strategic direction, and managerial oversight for curatorial, exhibitions, acquisitions, collections management, conservation, archives, and publications.

“It is an honor to be joining Sandra Jackson-Dumont and the team at the Lucas Museum,” said Tompkins Rivas. “I look forward to contributing to this innovative institution at such an exciting time of its development.

“I am thrilled to partner with new colleagues to shape how the museum will serve its diverse communities as well as its contributions to the broader field of art history.”

Luarca-Shoaf will work on establishing innovative educational and public programs that will advance creativity, inspiration, and civic engagement. She will also build a team to engage the museum’s diverse constituencies.

‘Advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility’

Hunt will devise programs to bring people into engagements with works of art, leading the relationship between creative practice and community engagement.

Disla, who joins the museum from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will be developing and guiding the strategy for event planning, including future opening events, production, and venue operations.

Gentile serves as a link between the construction team and the museum staff, supporting the development and implementation of the building.

Neal will be responsible for overseeing strategy and administration of desktop and mobile computing, network design, and administration of cyber security tools and response.

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Bea Mitchell

A journalist specialising in entertainment and attractions, Bea loves theme parks (mainly Disney) and is particularly interested in things of a gothic, horror or fantasy nature.

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