The Amistad Center for Art & Culture (The Amistad Center) has selected Frank Mitchell as executive director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). Since 2013, Mitchell has held the role of assistant director and curator after serving as the curator-at-large for three years. During his time at The Amistad Center, Mitchell redefined the exhibition program from a collection-based focus on historical timelines to a topical exhibition program that integrates collections material and loans of contemporary art and partnerships with leading artists. Mitchell will begin his tenure as executive director on July 1, 2016.
Mitchell began his career as a community programs coordinator at the Studio Museum in Harlem and has curated, organized, and produced exhibitions and programs at The Schomburg Center, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, Anacostia Museum, University of St. Joseph Art Gallery, Capital Community College, International Festival of Arts & Ideas, Hill-Stead Museum, Hartford Public Library, Connecticut Historical Society, Old State House, and other regional partners. As the consulting curator for the National Audubon Society Birdcraft Museum, Mitchell led the design planning process for a $1 million renovation to the historic landmark. He holds a doctor of philosophy degree in American Culture from the University of Michigan, a master of arts degree in African-American Studies from Yale University, and bachelor of arts degree from Bowdoin College.
In making the announcement, Board President Medina Jett said, “The Amistad Center board of trustees is thrilled that Frank Mitchell will be our next executive director. Frank’s extensive knowledge of African American art and history, his historical knowledge of the Amistad Center’s collection, and his passion and vision for the Amistad Center make him the perfect choice to lead our organization toward the national stage. Frank has the full support of our talented staff and the full confidence of our board of trustees.”
“Hartford has always represented a special kind of history and culture for me. My parents were married in my grandparents’ house in the Northend, and we grew up with stories of their lives in the city,” said Mitchell. “As the Amistad Center for Art & Culture prepares to celebrate 30 years of programming in Hartford, I’m truly honored by this opportunity to lead the organization as we build upon that history of researching, nurturing, and celebrating Black arts and culture.”
“The Amistad Center for Art & Culture is a vibrant cultural resource with a dynamic team and diverse educational programming,” said ACG Project Consultant Nikki DeJesus Sertsu. “ACG congratulates the board of trustees and other stakeholders involved in the executive search process that will benefit from Frank’s expertise and passion for African American art and history.”