Liska Named Director of Kent State Museum

KENT, Ohio – Kent State University Museum has announced the appointment of Sarah Spinner Liska as its new director, effective July 1.

Spinner Liska is an arts leader with extensive experience in exhibitions, communications, fundraising and project management. She was recently recognized with the Ohio Museums Association’s “Professional of the Year” award for her work uplifting museums and arts organizations across the region.

In her new role, Spinner Liska will oversee the museum’s operations, including curatorial decisions, exhibitions, educational programs and community outreach initiatives.

“We are excited to welcome Sarah to our museum,” says Diane Petrella, dean of the College of the Arts. “Her visionary leadership and proven track record will undoubtedly take the Kent State University Museum to new heights. I look forward to bringing the museum into a new chapter under her direction.”

As managing director of Front International, a region-wide contemporary art triennial, Spinner Liska developed partnerships across Ohio, working closely with museums, universities, artists and funders. She also championed wage certification and led an award-winning accessibility initiative to open art access to people of all abilities.

“I am thrilled to be appointed as the new director of the Kent State University Museum and to continue championing our region’s unparalleled creative sector,” says Spinner Liska. “I am honored to build on Sarah Rogers’ legacy and look forward to expanding access and inclusivity within the museum’s renowned collection of fashion, textiles, and decorative arts.”

Spinner Liska’s civic leadership has focused on expanding access and audience within the arts and museums field. She founded and chaired the North American Arts ‘Ennials Alliance, a professional network of arts leaders from across the continent, hosting the inaugural conference in Cleveland in 2022. She serves as a trustee of The Sculpture Center and of Zygote Press, leads the Community Conversations series for the Yale Alumni Association of Cleveland, and chairs the Special Exhibitions Committee at the Maltz Museum. Spinner Liska also serves on University Hospitals National Arts Leadership Council and the Johns Hopkins University Second Decade Society.

Originally from Canada, Spinner Liska holds a Ph.D. in history from Yale University and a J.D. from Yale Law School. She was awarded a Golieb Fellowship in Legal History at NYU Law School and holds a B.A. in the History of Art and French and an M.A. in Humanistic Studies from Johns Hopkins University. Spinner Liska is admitted to practice law in Ohio and is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association.

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