2023 November Press Releases

Plains Art Museum Announces New Director and CEO

Press Release
For Immediate Release (November 2023)

Fargo, North Dakota – Plains Art Museum and its Board of Directors have named Erin Shapiro as its new Director and CEO effective October 30, 2023.  Her leadership is welcome as the Museum expands its initiatives, including its Connecting Campaign.

A dedicated museum professional, Shapiro has a vast array of institutional experience, having served in leadership positions at museums across the country. Most recently, she held the position of Executive Director at Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives in Honolulu, Hawai’i. Past roles include Deputy Director of Community Engagement at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, VA, Interpretive Resource Manager at the Honolulu Museum of Art, and Curator at the Springfield Museum of Art, A Smithsonian Affiliate, in Springfield, OH.

“I am thrilled beyond measure to lead the team at Plains Art Museum; the institution has a remarkable track record of top-tier exhibitions, community engagement, and hands-on art-making opportunities for all. I’m proud to build upon this legacy of excellence, and my family and I look forward to joining the Fargo community!” said Shapiro.

Shapiro’s areas of focus include the implementation of DEAI principles within the museum sphere, with particular emphasis on accessibility for all; digitization of archival materials and object collections for increased propagation and outreach capabilities; as well as creation of exhibition opportunities for under-represented artists.

Shapiro has an impressive background in studio art. She holds an MFA in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Additionally, Shapiro received a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio Art from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a BA in Art and English from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, where she was an Emerson Scholar. She’s a former resident of the Contemporary Artists Center at Woodside in Troy, NY, and was a fellow at the Stone Carving and Sculpture Studio in West Rutland, VT.

“Erin brings a breadth of arts and leadership experience to the Plains Art Museum, including Deputy Director and most recently Executive Director. We are thrilled to have her lead our institution going forward! We look forward to working with her as the Museum enters its next chapter,” said Interim Director, Mark Henze.

Please join us welcoming Erin on Thursday, December 7 at 9 a.m. at Plains Art Museum.

Plains Art Museum is the largest art museum in the Dakotas and Western Minnesota. It is free general admission and educationally-focused thanks to strong and growing support from over 800 households and businesses. The Museum manages a permanent collection of over 4,000 objects, organizes and presents dozens of annual exhibitions, facilitates public art projects, and leads over 200 educational programs and experiences for all ages each year. The Museum, and its Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity, are located at 704 First Avenue North in downtown Fargo. For more information about visiting or supporting your art museum, visit plainsart.org.