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National Museum of Mexican Art announces new president

The new leader of the National Museum of Mexican Art announced Tuesday that José Ochoa will be its new president and CEO.

Ochoa comes to the museum after serving as president of the Chicago High School of the Arts’ ChiArts Foundation. He was the founding artistic director of ChiArts and before that was chief of Cultural Arts for Nashville, Tennessee.

Ochoa took over By Carlos Tortolero69, founder, president and CEO of the museum who retired On December 31, Tortolero will continue his duties as a consultant until March 31.

The National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen is recognized locally and internationally as one of Chicago’s cultural cornerstones and is reportedly the only nationally accredited museum dedicated to Mexican art and culture. It has a staff of 40 employees and an annual budget of approximately $8 million, and operates with free admission with approximately 150,000 visitors annually. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday (though closed on tuesday16 January due to severe weather conditions).

“The Board sought a visionary leader who could build on the Museum’s accomplishments,” Carlos R. Cardenas, chairman of the NMMA Board of Trustees, said in part in his statement announcing Ochoa’s hiring. “We focused on candidates with strong educational backgrounds, strong career credentials in the arts, solid financial acumen leading organizations, track record of effective fundraising, experience driving growth and a deep appreciation for operational excellence, commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Mexican culture and art.”

According to the announcement, the appointment will take effect immediately.

dgeorge@chicagotribune.com

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