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Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara Names Abaseh Mirvali Executive Director and Chief Curator

Abaseh Mirvali.


The Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara in California has tapped Abaseh Mirvali to be its new executive director and chief curator, effective immediately. She takes the reins at the MCA as it prepares to launch an expansion in the city’s Funk Zone district.

Mirvali has worked primarily as an independent curator. From 2005 to 2008, she was the executive director of the Colección/Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City, and she was the executive director and CEO of the 2013 edition of the Biennial of the Americas, which was staged in Denver. She was also previously senior adviser to the U.S. Ambassador for Culture and Education.

The position she fills at the MCA has been vacant for almost a year. It was previously held by Miki Garcia, who left the MCA in December of last year to direct the Arizona State University Art Museum in Tempe. Garcia had been the MCA’s director since 2005.

In a statement, Mirvali said, “I have met an incredibly special group of people with an immense commitment to this museum and their community. It is an honor that, in me, they see the right partner to realize a shared vision for the future of MCASB. I am looking forward to collaborating with the MCASB family and the Santa Barbara and international cultural communities, to present an expanded vision of what a museum can provide in our times.”

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