Directors Dialogue

Directors Dialogue: Belinda A. Tate in Conversation

On September 23, Pauline Willis, AFA Director & CEO engagde in an intimate conversation with Belinda A. Tate, Executive Director of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.

Since 2014, Belinda Tate has served as the Executive Director of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (KIA) in southwest Michigan. We are pleased to have an historic connection with this institution, which was founded in 1924 by a local chapter of the AFA. As director, Belinda Tate has worked to transform the KIA into a model regional museum: a keystone to the community; one that engages and celebrates its diverse population.

This approach to community engagement is exemplified most recently in 2019, when in conjunction with the exhibition Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem, KIA rehung its permanent collection to feature artists of the African diaspora, offering an immersive experience celebrating black and women artists and creating opportunities for programming throughout the city.

She will join AFA Director & CEO Pauline Willis for a discussion about the role of regional museums and how KIA is responding to this current critical moment in our history.

About Belinda A. Tate

Belinda A. Tate is Executive Director for the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, serving since 2014.

She is a community bridge builder who embraces the KIA’s vision that the visual arts are for everyone, and works to provide a cultural platform that welcomes and is inclusive of all people. Through hands-on, engaged leadership, she provides strategic direction for a team of seven senior leaders who manage a complex institution consisting of development and marketing, exhibitions and collections, museum education and library services (11,000 volumes), and the Kirk Newman Art School (more than 3,300 students). The organization is powered by 98 staff and faculty and 300 volunteers who serve more than 100,000 patrons annually in Southwest Michigan.

She received her undergraduate degree in Art History/Museum Studies from Yale University and her MA in Liberal Studies from Wake Forest University. She has traveled extensively to more than 19 countries in Europe and Africa and has served as a Fulbright-Hayes Fellow, where she evaluated South African public education a decade after the end of apartheid.

Ms. Tate currently serves on the boards of directors for the Association of Art Museum Directors and the American Federation of Arts. She also serves on the American Alliance of Museum’s Task Force on Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion in Museum Excellence.


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