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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA Museum of Art welcomes interim director Meg Hagyard


Meg Hagyard, the newly appointed interim director of the UA Museum of Art. Hagyard, who took the position this month, plans to continue major exhibits as part of her upgraded role. 

The University of Arizona Museum of Art opens its doors to the community this semester, operating under new leadership.

Meg Hagyard was appointed as the new interim director this month after former director W. James Burns announced his resignation in a newsletter to the community, effective July 30.

For over 20 years Hagyard has been working in Tucson with different institutions like the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Tucson Children’s Museum. She also worked with the UAMA as a student and was able to create an exhibition with the help of a former faculty member.

In the past year, Hagyard worked as senior director of external relations for the UA Research, Discovery, and Innovation department, and has also worked with staff at UAMA and the Center for Creative Photography. “Her work with both institutions includes strengthening campus and community partnerships, developing funding sources and increasing awareness of the institutions on the local, state and national level,” read a UAMA press release.

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“It’s a really cool moment for me to have had time here at the U of A as a student, and interacting with the museum and how important the collection was to me then,” Hagyard said. “Then also as a community member coming to see exhibitions here and really enjoying the richness of the collection.”

Hagyard said being on campus as interim director, she remembers her previous years at UA and believes it will help her in her new role.

“And then being on campus and working with people in different capacities to now having this new role, so it does feel like all of the experiences I’ve had with the museum over the last 25-plus years are really feeding upon each other and definitely inform how I think about the institution,” Hagyard said.

According to the press release, “Hagyard will be working with Museum staff to further the diverse and robust exhibition and programs schedule and prepare for the American Alliance of Museums reaccreditation process. She will also continue her role as Senior Director of External Relations.”

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Her previous work in the Tucson community allows her to help the UAMA improve. “I have the benefit of having been out in the community in non-profit organizations where you really are raising funds, your operation funds every year, so I think that’s really valuable experience when you’re thinking about what it means to help lead an organization,” Hagyard said.

Having been on campus for six years, Hagyard said she has a good understanding of what will benefit the UA, and recognizing the importance of the students, faculty and having the community arts perspective to lead.

Gina Compitello-Moore, marketing manager at UAMA and the Center for Creative Photography, said the staff is excited as Hagyard steps into her new role. “We’re so thrilled to have Meg as our interim director,” Compitello-Moore said. “She’s a native Tucsonan, she knows the Tucson art scene, she has a fantastic drive and passion for the arts and just really cares so much about the museum.”

UAMA staff are excited for their full schedule of events, with both students and the community slated to participate. “We’re very excited about fall semester — we’ve got a really packed schedule,” Hagyard said. “There’s a lot of wonderful exhibits that are going to be opening as well as some really strong programming and great partnerships with different parts of campus.”

She said the fall semester will be a great showcase of all the exciting things UAMA is capable of.

Follow Shaq Davis on Twitter.

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