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Jason Rapp

New leadership in place at CofC’s Halsey Institute

New executive director began April 1


Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston announced the appointment of its new executive director: recently promoted Katie Hirsch assumed her new role April 1.

Hirsch who was previously the museum's curator and director of strategic partnerships, was serving as interim director after the December 2020 retirement of long-time director Mark Sloan.

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Says Hirsch: “I am honored to be the new director of the Halsey Institute. It is a true privilege to lead the talented team that brings innovative artists to Charleston and beyond. I am eager to connect with our community in this new role, and to share the compelling programming that the Halsey has planned.” School of the Arts Dean Dr. Edward Hart says of the appointment, “We are thrilled that Katie Hirsch has accepted the appointment as the new Director of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. She brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the position, and her artistic vision, leadership skills, and enthusiasm will benefit this world-class institution for years to come.”

About Katie Hirsch

Katie Hirsch joined the Halsey Institute team in August 2016 and was most recently a Curator and the Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. Hirsch took the reigns as Interim Director on January 1, 2021 during the pandemic, so has had to make many tough decisions about accessibility, staffing, and programming in the most challenging of times. She has curated exhibitions on Roberto Diago and Coulter Fussell, among others. She served as Associate Curator for the Halsey Institute’s landmark 2018 exhibition Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South, for which she contributed to the catalogue. She is responsible for the Halsey Institute’s traveling exhibitions program, organizing nationwide tours of Southbound and exhibitions featuring the work of Fahamu Pecou, Jiha Moon, and Hitnes, among others. She is also an adjunct instructor of arts management at the College of Charleston. Katie Hirsch earned an MA with honors in Art History, Visual Cultures of the Americas from The Florida State University, and a BA and magna cum laude distinction in Art History, with a Minor in General Business from Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to the Halsey Institute, Hirsch worked for Spoleto Festival USA and island6 Arts Center in Shanghai, China. Before turning her focus to contemporary art, Hirsch specialized in the art and culture of the Maya. She brings not only a broad knowledge of art history and visual culture, but also the unconventional knowledge of the Yucatec Maya language, acquired through years of study in Mexico with support from government fellowships.

About the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston provides a multidisciplinary laboratory for the production, presentation, interpretation, and dissemination of ideas by innovative visual artists from around the world. As a non-collecting museum, the Halsey Institute creates meaningful interactions between adventurous artists and diverse communities within a context that emphasizes the historical, social, and cultural importance of the art of our time. Learn more.