Bill Mercer has been hired as the new executive director at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center. Mercer, 50, will start Nov. 15 and replace longtime Sangre ED Maggie Divelbiss on Dec. 31.
Mercer's credentials are impressive: He has over 20 years of museum and arts organization experience at institutions such as the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Portland (Ore.) Art Museum and the Montana Historical Society. Beyond arts administration and nonprofit expertise, Mercer also holds a specialty in Native and Western American art.
However, back in 2007, Mercer was fired from the Portland Art Museum for violating a no-tolerance agreement he signed the year before. You can read more about the incident here.
For its part, the Sangre isn't worried about that part of Mercer's career. According to a Pueblo Chieftain article released today, arts center board chair Cathy Valenzuela says, "We performed due diligence in the search. Yes, it surprised us when we performed a background check, but after speaking with him and the director he worked for for seven years we were satisfied."
You can read the full Chieftain article here.