After an extensive search, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (the MAH) welcomes Robb Woulfe as its new Executive Director. He begins Monday, February 10th eager to continue the MAH’s mission of igniting shared experiences and unexpected connections to build a stronger, more connected community. Robb’s vision and leadership will guide staff, volunteers, and interns as the MAH continues to bring people together around art, history, and culture through co-created events and exhibitions.
“I am honored to be joining the MAH, one of the most forward-thinking and creative museums in the country,” said Robb. “The organization has been a trailblazer, distinguished by its strong leadership, dedicated staff, and collaborative approach to community building. I look forward to continuing to develop and support meaningful, place-based work that animates and enlivens the museum and public spaces throughout Santa Cruz County.”
Robb’s experience in the arts and entertainment industry extends over 25 years, having held positions within public, nonprofit, and commercial sectors. He comes to the MAH having worked as an advisor for the forthcoming Park City, Utah cultural district, a mixed-use development created in partnership with Park City Municipal, Kimball Art Center, and Sundance Institute. Prior to his consulting work, Robb spent 2014 to 2019 in Breckenridge, Colorado as founding President and CEO of Breckenridge Creative Arts, a large multidisciplinary arts organization; and 2004 to 2014 in Ann Arbor, Michigan as Executive and Artistic Director of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, a community celebration produced in partnership with the City of Ann Arbor and University of Michigan.
During his time in Breckenridge, Robb led many landscape-changing initiatives. His work included: launching a series of festivals and exhibitions; opening and activating the new Breckenridge Arts District campus; and designing an artist residency program focused on social impact work. He is looking forward to bringing these leadership experiences to fuel similar ongoing programs at the MAH like family-friendly events in Abbott Square, community brainstorms, and festivals like Free First Friday, GLOW, and Día de Muertos.
“The MAH’s Board of Trustees is pleased to have Robb joining us as our new Executive Director,” says Carola Barton, the MAH’s Board President. “We are very confident that Robb will bring vibrant and thoughtful leadership to the team as the MAH continues to value community collaborations and creating programs that inspire diverse audiences to engage with local art and history.”
In his new role, Robb will provide management expertise in the areas of program development, financial planning, fundraising, operations, and marketing. He will also serve as chief spokesperson and strategist for the MAH, identifying opportunities, forming partnerships, and connecting people, programs, and place. Together with the board and staff, he will continue to advance the museum’s commitment to inclusion, collaboration, and uplifting the voices, traditions, and stories of Santa Cruz County.
Interim Executive Director Antonia Franco will stay on to support the onboarding and transition process through the end of February before resuming her role on the MAH Board of Trustees in March.
Stay tuned for a welcoming event where all community members can hear from and get to know Robb. In the meantime, the MAH’s newest exhibition, Trailblazers: The Creative Story Behind Mountain Biking in Santa Cruz, is on view through September 20 , and the 2nd Annual Speed
Weddings & Vow Renewal event returns on Friday, February 14th.
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