NAAM appoints Rosanna Sharpe as new Executive Director

The Northwest African American Museum has a new Executive Director. Rosanna Sharpe, who started in the position October 1, is a Tacoma native and experienced museum professional. Sharpe has served in curatorial departments at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma and The Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle.

According to a letter from Norman B. Rice, NAAM’s board president,

We are fortunate to have found a candidate who brings such a wealth of museum knowledge to this position.  We selected Rosanna based on her experience, dedication and enthusiasm for NAAM’s mission and vision, along with her strong work ethic and connection to the Northwest.  Rosanna has served as our Interim Executive Director for the past eight months, during which time she has shown leadership and skill in guiding the Museum through a major transition.

Rosanna replaces artist and writer Barbara Earl Thomas who has led the Museum since 2008.  We thank Barbara for her time and tremendous contributions.   Under Barbara’s leadership the Museum has been firmly established as a vital institution in our cultural landscape. Her vision and tenacity have had a lasting impact not only for the Museum but Seattle’s entire community.  We are pleased that Barbara’s tenure will continue at the Museum as she assumes the position of Major Gifts Officer and provides continuity during the leadership transition.

Rosanna is working closely with the Board and the entire NAAM team as we all make a smooth transition and continue to provide the essential African American history, arts and cultural programming NAAM is now known for.  With five great years behind us, we are excited for NAAM’s future. We look forward to working with our entire community to continue to provide excellent exhibitions and educational programs.

2 thoughts on “NAAM appoints Rosanna Sharpe as new Executive Director

  1. Pleased to read that NAM added someone with the vision, energy and experience of Rosanna Sharpe. She faces a difficult task – tapping. exposing and capturing the cultural history of minorities’ in the Northwest. Similar I guess to building an airplane in mid-flight. A tip of the hat to Barbara Earle Thomas and the NAM’s board for the past five years of their ground-breaking work. well done! Appreciated that the former executive director will be given the opportunity to apply her considerable skills and expertise to the awesome task of gifts and major fund. I am sure with this team NAM will continue to be something special! .