Artworks Trenton Appoints M’kina Tapscott as Executive Director

M’kina Tapscott will begin her new journey as Executive Director of Artworks Trenton beginning January 18, 2022. The selection of Ms. Tapscott followed an intensive search and selection process.  Ms. Tapscott succeeds Lauren Otis, Executive Director since February, 2016, who in 2021 announced his intention to step down pending the appointment of a dynamic successor.

“As a board member of Artworks, I am very delighted to witness the critical and historical transition of the organization” said Barry Zhang, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Artworks Trenton. “Lauren will leave very big shoes for the new Executive Director to fill, and I am very confident that M’kina, as the top choice of the search committee, the board, and the staff, is the ideal person to fill them.”

M’Kina Tapscott’s fifteen year career in education, access, curation and advocacy resonates with Artworks’ mission “to connect community, culture and creativity through the arts.” Beginning with her work as Director of Education and Programs at Project Row Houses, an art and social service development in Houston, TX, and continuing through education and outreach positions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Tapscott has championed the primacy of art in building community and advancing social change.

Concurrent with her curatorial and administrative work, Tapscott has taught art history and studio art at all levels– most recently at the University of Houston and Houston Community College.  A practicing artist, she holds an MFA from the University of Houston and a BFA from Texas State University. She currently resides in Houston, TX and is relocating to Trenton in early January, 2022.

Artworks Trenton, a nonprofit visual arts center, has been providing community-based art and cultural opportunities in Trenton, NJ, for more than thirty years. In addition to annually hosting Art All Night and Art All Day – two of the premiere community arts events in the region – Artworks presents an impressive year-round schedule of exhibitions, art education programs, and public art projects. Recent public arts projects include restoration of Nam Jun Paik’s public art installation “PBS (1963-2000)” in downtown Trenton; an outdoor mural project at the New Jersey Governor’s mansion, Drumthwacket; murals created for the Rider University Center for Diversity and Inclusion in Lawrenceville; and a Black Lives Matter mural series created by Artworks in partnership with the I Am Trenton Community Foundation. More at:

In responding to her appointment, Ms. Tapscott said, “As a city, Trenton continues to struggle for resources and recognition despite being the state capital. Artworks is deeply committed to partnering with those working to improve and revitalize Trenton, using art as a change agent, and celebrating human diversity in all its forms. I appreciate the similarities between the communities in Trenton, NJ and my hometown Houston, TX. It is in these likenesses of needs, of opportunity and space where positive change can be enacted through deepening connections to people, art and community. I genuinely believe- el arte cambia a la gente y la gente cambia el mundo. This is where the work truly lives, and I intend to lead this organization in service of that need to inspire all of greater Mercer County.”

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