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Amada Cruz of Phoenix Art Museum Named Among W Magazine's Most Powerful Female Museum Directors

W Magazine has named Phoenix Art Museum's Amada Cruz one of the 11 most powerful female museum directors in America

The fashion magazine's salute to "the women transforming some of the country’s foremost art institutions" includes Cruz's image alongside Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art curator Naomi Beckwith, Metropolitan Museum of Art chairman of modern and contemporary art Sheena Wagstaff, and Brooklyn Museum director Anne Pasternak. Presented to readers as a black-and-white slideshow on the magazine's website, a few of the women featured have accompanying quotes describing achievements and various tidbits about their respective institutions. Cruz, who's pictured in a moto jacket, pointy-toe pumps, and a sheath dress, is not accompanied by such additional text.

Cruz became Phoenix Art Museum's director in February 2015, succeeding longtime director James Ballinger. Before coming to Phoenix, she was executive director at San Antonio's Artpace. Among her initiatives at PAM are pushes for more free access to the public and more bilingual elements throughout the museum. 

While her managerial style has been criticized by former employees and there's been significant staff turnover, major funding has been secured during her time at PAM's helm, including a $2.5 million donation from Suzanne and Bud Selig. Cruz has also brought on Gilbert Vicario as the museum's new chief curator and Kaela Hoskings as its education director. 

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski