Houston’s DiverseWorks announces Elizabeth Dunbar as new Executive Director
HOUSTON, TX.- The Board of Directors of DiverseWorks ArtSpace announces the appointment of Elizabeth Dunbar as the new Executive Director of the visionary arts organization, taking over from Interim Executive Director William Betts. Most recently, Dunbar served as Associate Director and Curator at Arthouse, a non-collecting experimental art space in Austin.
“I am thrilled to be joining DiverseWorks at this important time in its evolution,” says Dunbar. “I look forward to working with the Board, staff, and many committed supporters in realizing its ambitious goals and shaping the organization’s future.”
The search for a new Executive Director was a lengthy, thoughtful process. “We reviewed applicants from across the U.S., and Elizabeth became our front-runner almost immediately,” said Kellye Sanford, DiverseWorks board chair and leader of the search committee. “She has strong Houston ties. And from her early days at the Whitney, she developed a firm grounding in institutional ethics and operational best practices. She combines a sound business perspective with a keen interest in artistic risk-taking.”
Dunbar brings 20 years’ experience in curating, programming and arts administration and management to her new role at DiverseWorks. In addition to her prior tenure at Arthouse, she has also held positions at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, the Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Many of her projects have received critical acclaim in national and international publications like Artforum, Frieze, and Art Papers.-Well-known for producing ambitious cross-disciplinary programming, she has worked with a prestigious roster of international artists, including Liz Glynn, Fritz Haeg, Oliver Herring, Graham Hudson, Sheila Pepe, Dario Robleto, Florian Slotawa, and Matt Stokes, among many others
Dunbar has set some ambitious goals for herself in her new position. “In my role as executive director, I hope to expand and strengthen the support for DiverseWorks within the community of Houston and beyond; to build and sustain positive partnerships with a diverse group of cultural and nonprofit organizations within the region; and make DiverseWorks a must visit destination for experiencing cutting-edge contemporary arts and culture in the city,” she said.
Sanford sees Dunbar as the right fit for a critical time in the organization’s evolution. “DiverseWorks is at its best when engaged in interdisciplinary, multi-layered art experiences. Elizabeth seems the perfect choice for building on DiverseWorks’ foundation and taking it in new and exciting directions. She’s well poised to help DiverseWorks mature as an arts institution and fully realize its place as a cultural leader in Houston and beyond.”