Toccarra A. H. Thomas Appointed Director of the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Toccarra A. H. Thomas Appointed Director of the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Toccarra A. H. Thomas as Director of the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans. Thomas has previously served as the inaugural general manager of Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, NY, and inaugural managing director of SPACE, a contemporary multidisciplinary art organization in Portland, ME. In her new role, she will oversee the Center’s expansive artist residency program, develop public programming and special projects to support community engagement with the Center’s artist residents, and manage the day-to-day operations of the Center. She will also work closely with leadership at the Joan Mitchell Foundation in New York to further develop artist-centered resources and programming. Thomas will begin her position on October 14, 2019, taking the helm from Veronique Le Melle, who has served as Interim Director since January 2019. 

“Toccarra brings an incredible range of experience and knowledge to the Center. As a media and performance artist herself, she understands deeply the needs of today’s artist community and the impact that a residency can have on a creative practice,” said Kay Takeda, Senior Director of Artist Programs at the Joan Mitchell Foundation. “At the same time, as an arts administrator, she has the vision and leadership skills needed to ensure that that the Joan Mitchell Center residency program continues to thrive as a meaningful resource for artists.” 

“We are excited to welcome Toccarra to our team and to introduce her to our national artist community and our community in New Orleans. We look forward to working with her to continue to make the Joan Mitchell Center a vibrant artistic platform, and know that her expertise will be invaluable to the Center’s future,” added Christa Blatchford, CEO of the Joan Mitchell Foundation.

The Foundation opened the Joan Mitchell Center in 2015 to complement its grant programs and deepen its relationships with artists through a residency program. The decision to locate the residency center in New Orleans grew out of direct connections and support provided to local artists and arts organizations in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, as part of the Foundation’s Emergency Grants program. The Center sits on a two-acre campus in the Seventh Ward, and features artist studios, spaces for public programming, and on-site housing for resident artists. The Center provides residencies for local artists, as a critical aspect of the Foundation’s continued commitment to the city and surrounding area, as well as to artists from across the United States that have previously been awarded grants by the Foundation...

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