MoCA Westport Names New Exec Director

Westport, CT - MoCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) Westport announces Ruth Mannes as the new Executive Director of the nonprofit devoted to inspiring intellectual and creative curiosity through the arts.

Mannes, a 12-year resident of Westport, has an extensive background in publishing, leadership, community outreach, and fundraising for local causes. In addition, she has been collecting art for over two decades and has been recognized by ARTnews as one of the top 30 young contemporary art collectors in America. She succeeds Amanda Innes, who held the Executive Director position for four years, and was instrumental in the rebranding of Westport Arts Center to MoCA Westport, and transitioning to the state-of-the-art museum space at 19 Newtown Turnpike.

MoCA Westport Board Chairman, Bill Felton says, “After the move to a new space, all of us at MoCA Westport see now as the time to be the engaging hub of creativity we envision for the Westport community, Fairfield County and beyond. We are very excited to have Ruth lead us in this key stage of growth.”

Mannes’ hiring comes as the organization implements a plan of strategic growth in community relations, development, outreach, and fundraising to build on the successes of a groundbreaking inaugural year as a Museum of Contemporary Art. Since September 2019, MoCA Westport brought two acclaimed works of art by popular artist Yayoi Kusama, including a crowd-pleasing Infinity Mirror Room, an experiential school field trip program, the relaunch of the Heida Hermanns International Music Competition, legendary musicians, including performances by Kenny Barron and Pacifica Quartet, and the launch of The Academy @MoCA Westport, a fully immersive arts education program.

Mannes says, “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead MoCA Westport at this exciting time in the organization’s history. As an engaged resident of Westport and a voracious participant in the contemporary art scene, I cannot wait to bring engaging artists and exhibitions to this new dynamic space. All over the world, people gravitate to institutions that exhibit great art. I see MoCA Westport being one of these exceptional places.” 

MoCA Westport, formerly the Westport Arts Center, just finished celebrating 50 years of arts experiences in Fairfield County. Welcoming Mannes to the team ushers in a renewed focus on community, with exciting changes to come regarding the museum admission structure, membership benefits, and more. 
Mannes joins MoCA Westport after a 20-year publishing career in Manhattan, including serving as Executive Managing Editor of HarperCollins. Since relocating to Westport, Ruth has served as a long-time leader in Westport Public Schools’ Parent-Teacher Association. For the past 25 years, Mannes has cultivated an extensive network of art world experiences and connections, which she expects to extend to the community.

About MoCA Westport
MoCA Westport, a 501(c)(3) organization, which has been a cornerstone of the Westport arts community for the last 50 years, has undergone a significant expansion in order to bring even more rich and diverse programming to Westport. Exhibitions and performances from visual arts to classical music are featured year round to inspire art enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels.
In addition, a unique education program, The Academy @MoCA Westport, provides semi-private instruction weekly to allow students to discover their own interpretations of the current gallery exhibitions.

MoCA Westport’s two galleries are dedicated to exhibiting contemporary art by globally renowned artists and locally impactful artists alike. 
MoCA Westport is thankful for the dedication of its generous donors and sponsors, including the Katherine and Howard Aibel Foundation; Aitoro Appliances, Artur and Heida Hermanns Holde Foundation, Inc.; Beechwood Arts and Innovation; Cohen & Wolf PC; Delamar Southport; Design Within Reach; Fairfield County Bank; 4th Row Films; First County Bank Foundation; Halloran Sage; The Hofstetter Baron Group of Wells Fargo Advisors; Moffly Media; Newman’s Own; Daniel Edward Offutt, III; Sontag Advisory LLC; SRI Fine Art Services; Tauck Ritzau Innovative Philanthropy; Wiggin and Dana LLP; Westport Resources, a division of United Capital; WSHU Public Radio Group. MoCA Westport operates with the support of the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

MoCA Westport is currently installing a Helmut Lang sculpture exhibition. The museum is closed to the public until Helmut Lang’s Opening Day, March 15, 2020, 11am-4pm.

Museum hours beginning 3.15.20: Sun 11am-4pm | Mon closed | Tue  closed for school tours | Wed 12pm-5pm | Thu 12pm-8pm | Fri 12pm-5pm | Sat  11am-4pm


Follow Fairfield HamletHub