Culture News

Two Phoenix Art Museum Marketing Staff Members Reportedly Fired, Another Quits

Phoenix Art Museum's marketing department is almost empty.

PAM public relations director Carlotta Soares and manager Stephanie Lieb were reportedly let go today, Friday, August 14. 

Sources close to the situation, including Evan Roberts, formerly part of the museum's marketing team, confirm that Soares and Lieb are no longer with the museum. Museum director Amada Cruz is rumored to be behind the firings.

"I can’t comment upon individual personnel issues," Cruz says in an e-mail to New Times.

Roberts left his position as web and social media administrator on Monday, August 10, because, he says, he didn't like the way his fellow staffers were treated. "As far as I know, everyone else including other curators and staff would rave about the job they were doing, particularly all of the media coverage that we were getting. There were definitely disagreements, but mostly because the direction she took the museum in was more modern, with more of an emphasis placed on experimenting in the digital space, targeting non-traditional audiences, etc. They didn't click with Amada at all, but then she never met with us about her direction for the museum since she started, barring one 30- to 45-minute sit down with the entire marketing team last month to 'get to know us better.'"

Roberts, who left the museum for a job as social media specialist at Carrington College, adds, "Both 'Leonardo da Vinci: Codex Leicester' and 'Andy Warhol: Portraits' exceeded expectations for attendance goals, the only measurement we're judged on. Exploding Plastic Inevitable set a record for First Friday attendance of 5,500. So poor performance should not be an issue."

The only remaining marketing team member is graphic designer Felicia Penza. 

Rumor has it more personnel changes will be announced soon. 

This news follows the recent hiring announcement of Kaela Hoskings, who joins the museum as its education director on August 17. Hoskings previously worked at Artpace, a San Antonio, Texas, nonprofit arts organization that Cruz headed before she was hired as director of Phoenix Art Museum in February of 2015.

We'll update as the story progresses.

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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