Roanoke's Taubman Museum of Art names Della Watkins as its new Executive Director

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Roanoke's Taubman Museum of Art names Della Watkins as its new Executive Director
Della S. Watkins was chief educator at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

ROANOKE, VA.- The Taubman Museum of Art today introduced Della S. Watkins, chief educator at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, as its new executive director.

Watkins brings to the Taubman extensive experience in museum management, volunteer engagement, public programming and development in addition to art education.

“We are delighted to introduce to the Roanoke Valley a statewide leader in the arts from a renowned institution to lead the Taubman Museum of Art to a new level of accessibility, engagement and outreach,” said Nicholas Taubman, chairman of the museum’s board of trustees. “In searching for a new executive director, trustees were seeking a proven leader who believes in engaging the community through art and creating programming that resonates with our diverse audiences.”

Watkins has been at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond since 1997, taking on increasingly more responsible positions in education and management, most recently as the museum’s chief educator. She also has served as acting director of education and statewide partnerships and as manager of school and family programs. She started her career as an art educator in public schools in Richmond, Virginia Beach and Charlottesville.

“Della is well-rounded in her experience and grasps the educational and outreach priorities of a museum like ours dedicated to serving the community,” Taubman said. While at VMFA, Watkins was responsible for all educational projects, long-range planning and departmental objectives for the museum’s educational division, and managed a staff of 18 employees, 190 contract teachers and 250 volunteers and interns.

“I look forward to working with this community, outstanding staff, and committed board to take the Taubman Museum of Art to new and lively levels, applying the skills and knowledge I gained over the years while serving at one of the nation’s leading art museums,” Watkins said. “I am committed to leading the Taubman to be an even more engaging social, educational and cultural destination.”

She begins her new role Feb. 4.

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