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WOMEN OF ACH I EV EM EN T

Katie Ziglar

Director, Ackland Art Museum Katie was born in Columbia, South Carolina, and briefly lived in Chapel Hill from ages 2 to 6 while her father was in dental school at UNC. She went on to become one of the first 12 women awarded the prestigious Morehead-Cain Scholarship at UNC and earned her bachelor’s degree in European history in 1979. Katie also holds a master’s degree in Islamic art from the American University in Cairo. From 2003 to 2016, she served as director of external affairs for the Smithsonian Institution’s The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. She lives at 140 West Franklin and enjoys walking to work.

"I

never saw this coming,” Katie Ziglar says of her 2016 appointment as director of the Ackland Art Museum. Her background in public relations and marketing, she explains, instilled a passion for relationship building – and for inspiring others about the human element of art. “I’ve worked in much larger museums, which gives me insight and experiences that have been so beneficial at the Ackland,” she says. “The challenge of making this museum better is what gets me out of bed every morning.” After accepting the position, Katie immediately began working with museum staff, envisioning ways to make the experience more accessible to visitors. “Everything about the Ackland, from its facade to its branding, didn’t feel quite approachable, open or inviting,” Katie says. Under her leadership, the museum went through a rebranding to ensure everything – from the website to the front door – aligned with its mission to “provide experiences that spark insight into ourselves, each other and the world.” The new look includes an eyecatching, bright fuchsia color, a fully updated website and a logo that mirrors the arched entrance to the museum’s door. But the redesign isn’t done yet; the Ackland will receive a face-lift in the form of a new building. “We are bursting at the seams in every possible way and have been for 20 years,” Katie says. “We are thinking

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Profile for Shannon Media

Chapel Hill Magazine May/June 2020  

How We Live Now / Women of Achievement

Chapel Hill Magazine May/June 2020  

How We Live Now / Women of Achievement