It's a year full of exciting changes for the Arkansas Arts Center — a brand new space in the works and now a new leader at the helm. The AAC announced on Tuesday that Dr. Victoria Ramirez will take over as executive director, filling the role previously held by Todd Herman for seven years.

Most recently, Ramirez served as director of the El Paso Museum of Art, where the museum was awarded the Institution for Museum and Library Services Medal of Honor in recognition of dynamic programming and services under her direction.

"The Arkansas Arts Center is a jewel for Little Rock and the region, and the project to re-envision the Arts Center will undoubtedly usher in the most expansive era in the institution's history," Ramirez said. "It is an honor and a privilege to be the new executive director during this transformative time. I am looking forward to working with the Arts Center board, foundation, staff and capital campaign co-chairs Harriet and Warren Stephens to realize the vision for the new Art Center and launch its next exciting chapter."

The announcement comes as the AAC recently closed its doors in preparation for 127,000 square feet of expansions and reconstruction. Offices, classes, the museum store and various programs will continue to operate out of a temporary space at 2510 Cantrell Road in Riverdale, while many of its artworks will be on display at various branches of the Central Arkansas Library System.

Read on: AAC Releases Designs for 2022 Renovations

"As we continue on our journey toward the grand opening of the reimagined Arkansas Arts Center in 2022, Dr. Ramirez is an ideal choice for executive director," Warren Stephens said. "The renovation project is grand in scope and impact, and her experience and vision will be central to fulfilling the promise of the new Arkansas Arts Center. With the hiring of Dr. Ramirez, the Arts Center board is reaffirming its commitment to the inspirational power and educational possibilities that art brings to the young people and adults in our city, state and region."

To learn more about the Arkansas Arts Center, visit the museum's website, and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.

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