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Executive Director Of Kansas African American Museum Leaving

Mark McCormick

The executive director of the Kansas African American Museum is leaving.

Mark McCormick has led the Wichita museum since February 2013. He is leaving to become communications director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas in Overland Park. His last day at the museum is May 18.

"I love the museum," McCormick said in a news release. "I'm grateful to it, to our corporate sponsors, and to the board of directors, staff and membership for the opportunity to protect it, preserve it and share it with anyone who would listen."

McCormick is credited with improving the museum's finances, boosting donations and corporate sponsorships and upgrading the museum's exhibits and community programming.

Ted Ayres, vice chairman of the museum's board, will serve as interim director. He said a search for a new director will begin immediately.

"Under his [McCormick's] direction, the museum has operated on a stable financial basis while offering relevant and powerful exhibitions and programming to the community," Ayres said in a statement. "I'm honored and humbled to be following him and serving in the stewardship of this historic and cultural treasure."

McCormick previously was director of communications for the Kansas Leadership Center. An award-winning author, he also was a writer and reporter for The Wichita Eagle and Louisville Courier-Journal.

The museum, 601 N. Water, will hold a reception for McCormick at 2 p.m. on May 18.

Tom Shine is the director of news and public affairs. Follow him on Twitter @thomaspshine. To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Tom joined KMUW in 2017 after spending 37 years with The Wichita Eagle where he held a variety of reporting and editing roles. He also is host of The Range, KMUW’s weekly show about where we live and the people who live here. Tom is a board member of the Public Media Journalists Association, a board member of the Kansas chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an adjunct instructor in the Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State University.