Stephanie Stebich, director of the Tacoma Art Museum

c.r.roberts@thenewstribune.comApril 20, 2014 

NonProfit Business Leader of the Year Over nine years, Stephanie Stebich has led the Tacoma Art Museum into national prominence.

At 48, she is facing one of the most significant moments in the museum’s history — with the scheduled autumn opening of the Haub Family Collection of American Western Art.

Stebich studied art history at Columbia University and earned a masters of fine arts from New York University. She has continued her education at other institutions, focusing on leadership and nonprofit management.

She said that she believes that museums can help heal, that they help visitors “see the world differently,” and that they are the place “where people hold hands the most.”

Since arriving in Tacoma, Stebich has worked to realize a vision that establishes the museum as “a national model for regional museums.”

In nominating Stebich for the Milgard award, one museum board member wrote, “Stephanie inspires excellence, promotes beauty, encourages professional and personal growth for all at the museum, and builds internal and external collaborations.”

The controversial exhibit “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” helped foster the ideal model for any museum, and Stebich said it provided “a chance for us to live our values.”

“American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell” likewise drew both praise and new visitors to the museum.

The board member continued, “Stephanie has worked tirelessly with the board to create a vision of innovation, success and sustainability.”

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