Evanston Art Center executive director leaves for position at Newport Art Museum

Tori Latham, City Editor

The former executive director of the Evanston Art Center, 2603 Sheridan Road, has been appointed the new executive director of the Newport Art Museum in Newport, Rhode Island, the museum announced Wednesday.

Norah Diedrich, one of two finalists for the position, was picked by the museum’s Board of Trustees from a pool of more than 100 applicants, according to the museum.

“I’m honored to be selected as the Executive Director of the Newport Art Museum,” Diedrich said in the news release. “This organization has inspired and supported artists from Rhode Island and the region for over a century. I look forward to working with the dedicated board, staff, supporters, artists, and collectors to chart the Museum’s course for growth and sustainability.”

Sandra Craig, president of the Newport Art Museum’s Board of Trustees, said Diedrich’s appointment will benefit the museum.

“We trust under Diedrich’s leadership, Museum programming will be enhanced, serve increased and diverse audiences, expand membership and appeal to multiple constituency groups—young and old, baby boomers and their grandkids,” Craig said in the news release. “We count on Diedrich to build upon long standing collaborative relationships with local non-profits and state-wide arts organizations.”

Diedrich was the executive director of the Evanston Art Center for five years, during which she helped run a $2.5 million capital campaign for the center and facilitated the purchase of a new space, according to her bio from the museum. She also received the Leadership Evanston Award from the Evanston Community Foundation earlier this year.

Paula Danoff, the art center’s director of development and communications who will serve as executive director until the Board of Trustees finds a replacement, said Diedrich’s last day as part of the art center’s staff was last Friday. Danoff said all the art center’s employees will miss Diedrich.

“We’re all sad to see her go, but we’re excited for her and this new opportunity,” Danoff said. “It’s an incredible opportunity for her to be able to go to a museum with a larger collection and staff.”

Danoff said that following Diedrich’s departure, the board is searching for someone to permanently fill her spot. She said she was not sure exactly when a new director will be named, because many of the center’s efforts are being put into its transition to the new building at 1717 Central St., which is scheduled to be finished for the art center’s May 16 spring benefit.

“We’re hoping to have someone soon, but I don’t have an exact timeframe,” Danoff said. “Right now, we’re just trying to get through the next couple of months.”

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