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Grace Board of Trustees selects new Executive Director

By Floyd Miller



Abilene, TX – The Grace Museum Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the selection of the Museum’s new Executive Director. ## M: Read More ## Francine Carraro, Ph.D., was selected after a nationwide search. Carraro comes to The Grace from her previous position as Executive Director of the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine. “We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Carraro to the helm of The Grace,” said Brian Etchison, Chair of the Grace Board of Trustees. “She brings a dynamic combination of academic credentials and museum experience to this critical position, and as a recognized expert in Texas art, her knowledge and vision will prove invaluable as The Grace curates The Texas Scene: 1909-1959, an exhibit we’re planning for our Centennial celebration in 2009. We are excited to welcome her back to Texas as she assumes her new duties.” A Texas native, Carraro was born and raised in Borger. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts from Hendrix College, a Master of Fine Arts in Art History from Southern Methodist University, and her Ph. D. in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She was a tenured professor at Texas State University from the Fall of 1989 to the Spring of 2000. Her museum experience began at Laguna Gloria Art Museum in Austin, and includes the directorship of the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wy., from May of 2000 to December of 2005, where she brought wildlife art to national attention and achieved accreditation from the American Association of Museums. For the last two years, she served as Executive Director at the Abbe Museum. During her tenure at the Abbe Museum attendance was increased by 10 percent, and a variety of programs were introduced. “The Grace Museum is at a watershed moment in its history, and the opportunity to advance its mission of promoting the understanding of art, culture and history is thrilling,” said Carraro. “I am honored to be a part of The Grace Museum, a dynamic cultural magnet in the heart of Texas, and I welcome the opportunity to work with the Board, staff and volunteers to enlarge the Museum’s profile and to increase participation in the Museum’s outstanding programs, exhibitions, and community events. Also, I am so happy to return to my home state of Texas, and I am looking forward to being active in the vibrant community of Abilene.” Carraro will assume her new duties on September 15 from Dan Carpenter, who served as Interim Director of Operations during the search. Carpenter will return to his duties as the Museum’s Marketing/PR/IT Director. The Grace Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every Thursday. Admission is free Thursday evening after 5 p.m. For more information, call 325-673-4587. -30- The Grace Museum’s exhibitions and educational programs are supported in part by grants from the Texas Commission on the Arts, the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, the City of Abilene, Taylor County, and the Downtown Revitalization Program of the Tax Increment Finance District. The Grace Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1909, The Hotel Grace served as a rest stop for railway travelers. The mission-style building was renovated and re-opened in 1992 as The Grace Cultural Center. The Grace Museum, a non-profit organization, now serves as a home to a Children’s Museum, History Museum, and Art Museum. At 55,000 sq. ft., The Grace Museum is the 10th largest general museum in Texas. The Grace Museum is the cornerstone of cultural arts and education in West Texas.

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