New Hope Arts Announces New Executive Director

The Board of Directors of New Hope Arts is pleased to announce the appointment of Christine Ramirez as its new Executive Director. Ramirez, a familiar face in the regional arts community, brings a wealth of experience and a deep passion and commitment to the position.

Christine’s journey with New Hope Arts began in 2005 when she joined as the Director’s Assistant, working closely alongside the organization’s inspirational founder, Robin Larsen.  She played a pivotal role in shaping the artistic vision of the center until the unexpected passing of Larsen in 2009. In the absence of a director, Ramirez, with the unwavering support of the Board of Directors, along with several volunteers, dedicated herself to running the arts center for two years.

The Board of Directors and the artistic community were indebted to Christine’s willingness to balance the rigors of a new family along with those of running a burgeoning arts center. However, it was understood that her first priority was her family and was fortunate to engage long time supporter and art historian, Carol Cruickshanks to take the helm.

Carol’s arrival came at a pivotal and crucial time when the organization needed a champion. Ramirez was grateful for the relief and seamlessly transitioned into the role of Exhibition Specialist, where she took charge of hanging exhibitions, designing marketing materials, managing artists, and overseeing the jury process for numerous shows. The two worked symbiotically for more than a decade. Together with her team, including Ramirez, Stefanie Beaumont, Michelle Kott, Sandy Morrison and as well as a dedicated team of volunteers and committed board members, Carol guided the center through sustained growth for over a decade.

The year 2023 marked a significant chapter in New Hope Arts’ history as it temporarily closed for renovations after a successful capital campaign, supported in large part by a grant from the state of Pennsylvania for an ADA compliant elevator, and generous donations and matching funds from the community. During this hiatus, Christine’s passion for the arts and dedication to her craft was recognized by the Michener Art Museum where she was employed as a Preparator.

During her time at the Michener Art Museum, Ramirez gained valuable insights from her experience at a larger AAM-accredited non-profit arts institution. However, when she learned about Carol Cruickshanks’ retirement, Ramirez knew that her heart belonged to New Hope Arts. Eager to return to the organization she devoted nearly two decades to, Ramirez applied for the position of Executive Director.

Carol Cruickshanks stated: Christine’s long association with New Hope Arts provides the continuity that keeps our membership and supporters confident of our organization’s commitment to the community we serve. Her passion for the arts, maturity and awareness of the beginnings of New Hope Arts as well as her commitment to the vision for the future make our goals achievable. She has personally been my best supporter during the last 13 years, and I am reassured that the change in administration is in the best hands.” 

Upon being informed of her appointment, Christine said, “Assuming the leadership at New Hope Arts is more than a career move for me; it’s a deeply personal journey that spans 18 years of devotion to this organization and community. In this role, I aim to build upon Robin and Carol’s legacy while bringing a different perspective into our artistic endeavors, particularly in the realms of musical, theatrical, and literary arts as well as stretching our boundaries in Fine Arts and Crafts. My commitment extends beyond professional duties – it’s a genuine desire to nurture the soul of this community through the magic of art.”

The Board of Directors at New Hope Arts is excited to welcome Ramirez back with open arms.  Her extensive knowledge, proven leadership, and passion for the arts make her the ideal candidate to lead the organization into its next chapter.  Ramirez’s return is not only a homecoming for her but also a celebration of the continued legacy of Robin Larsen, who is undoubtedly smiling down on her from above.

Christine brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and energy to our organization. I am confident her passion for the arts will ensure a positive, seamless transition for New Hope Arts,” stated Larry Keller, Board Chairman.

Christine Ramirez officially assumes the role of Executive Director in March.  New Hope Arts looks forward to an exciting future under Ramirez’s leadership, building on the strong foundation laid by Robin Larsen, Carol Cruickshanks and numerous dedicated board members, staff and volunteers.