Arts & CultureLocal Culture

The M names new executive director

The Minnesota Museum of American Art (the M) Board of Directors has named Dr. Kate Beane as its 10th executive director. Beane most recently served as the director of the Native American Initiatives at the Minnesota Historical Society. Beane will begin her duties on Dec. 13. 
“Dr. Kate Beane is an experienced museum professional, and a strong, visionary leader who is the perfect person to lead the M at this important juncture in the organization’s development. The path forward requires a timely push to complete the capital campaign; to complete construction on the M’s facility; to re-open the facility; and to create an elevated platform for advancing the M’s programming model based on co-curation and community collaboration,” said M Board Chair Ann Ruhr Pifer per a release. 
The release states that Dr. Beane is especially excited by the M as “a bridge for bringing communities together.” That includes helping Minnesotans today connect with our past through the M’s permanent art collection, and it also means inspiring exchange and dialogue between the many communities that collectively form our present. 
“I envision the M as a place where everyone feels welcome, where everyone recognizes themselves as part of a shared story that is explored through art,” Beane said.
 Dr. Beane, who is of Flandreau Santee Sioux Dakota and Muskogee Creek descent holds a B.A. in American Indian Studies and a Ph.D. in American studies from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. As the director of Native American Initiatives at Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) Dr. Beane spearheaded public engagement with regional Indigenous communities. She advised the historical society on incorporating Native perspectives and voices in its projects and sites.
Dr. Beane served as a program and outreach manager at the historical society working with Dakota communities across the region. She now serves as and adjunct faculty member in American Indian studies at the University of Minnesota, serves as a board member for Vision Maker Media, the Native Governance Center, the Lower Phalen Creek Project in east St. Paul and is an urban American Indian advisory board member for the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council. Dr. Beane was also appointed by Gov. Walz to serve on the Capitol Area Architectural & Planning Board.
“Dr. Kate Beane is not afraid to take risks and do the hard work necessary for the greater good of the Twin Cities and beyond. This is precisely the sort of leader that the M needs at this critical time of growth and development. I’m excited to see how Dr. Beane’s leadership bridges the diverse communities that the M serves,” search committee member Ginger Shulick Porcella said.

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