The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) has announced a transition in its leadership as H. Beecher Hicks steps down from his role as President and Chief Executive Officer. Hicks, a visionary behind the museum, has played a pivotal role in its establishment and success. The museum is planning a community appreciation celebration for Hicks later this year and will announce details soon.
“Henry Hicks is an invaluable visionary and leader whose immense contributions have shaped the National Museum of African American Music into the world-class institution it is today,” says NMAAM Board Chair Stacey Garrett Koju. “Under his guidance, NMAAM has become a beacon of inspiration, education, and cultural preservation. We are deeply grateful for Henry’s unwavering dedication and commitment to highlighting the rich history and profound impact of African American music. His passion and vision have set a solid foundation for the museum’s continued success. We extend our sincere appreciation to Henry and wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”
“This has been an incredible ride,” says Hicks. “I took on this role as a two-year commitment, and a decade later, it is unbelievable how far we’ve come. NMAAM showcases African American music, culture and history in a way that is not only important to Nashville but resonates around the world. It is humbling to have played a part in bringing this special project to fruition and setting it on a path for sustained success. It’s time for the next challenge, and I’m looking forward to new opportunities on the horizon.”
NMAAM announced that its Chief Operating Officer, Dion Brown, will step in as Executive Director to provide leadership and guidance. As COO, Brown led the day-to-day operations of the museum and worked closely with Hicks.
“We are excited for Dion to step into this new role. He has over 30 years of experience in museum leadership and we are grateful for his continued leadership and guidance,” says Koju.
Before joining NMAAM, Brown previously served as the president and COO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the founding Executive Director of the National Blues Museum, Executive Director of the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center and a past board member of the Association of African American Museums.
“I have known Henry since 2012 and watched his extraordinary work to build NMAAM from a dream to a globally renowned museum. Henry has laid an exceptional path for all of us at the museum for the future. I am grateful for all he has done to build a home for Black music,” shares Brown. “I’m honored to step into this new role and continue the museum’s mission to educate the world, preserve the legacy, and celebrate the central role African Americans play in creating the American soundtrack.”
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