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Robert Parker

The Bronzeville Center for the Arts’ board of directors announced it has named Robert Parker as its first executive director and chief executive officer, Robert Parker, to lead the organization as it establishes an arts museum in Milwaukee’s Bronzeville district.

Parker most recently served as inaugural executive director for the Chickasaw Nation-Chickasaw Inkana Foundation in Tupelo, Mississippi, leading the design and development of the new $36 million Chickasaw Heritage Center. He led a fundraising campaign for the project that raised $30 million in two years.

Parker also served as director of exhibits at the United States Navy Memorial Foundation in Washington, D.C., and he was the superintendent of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park located in Cambridge, Maryland where he led the development of new park exhibits and interpretative programs and laid the groundwork for a new $21 million visitor center.

He has served in various roles for organizations dedicated to National Parks, monuments and historical sites, and currently serves on the National Board of Directors for the Association of African American Museums.

“We are thrilled to have Robert join and lead the organization at such a pivotal time,” said Kristen Hardy, chair of the Bronzeville Center for the Arts board. “We interviewed many qualified candidates from around the country and were thrilled to find Robert, who brings the right combination of skills. Robert shares our vision and has practical, hands-on experience combined with a track record of success in museum development, fundraising campaigns and exhibit coordination. We are confident that Robert is the leader we need to bring the BCA vision to life.”

In his new role at the Bronzeville Center for the Arts, Parker will be responsible for overseeing the planning, design, construction, community engagement and operation elements of the BCA’s two Bronzeville developments: Gallery 507 and the future arts museum.

“I am thrilled to join this impressive organization to help advance their strong vision for the BCA and the Bronzeville community,” said Parker. “This project brought me to Milwaukee, and I’m confident it will do the same for visitors from across the state and nation.”