Patty Ortiz. File Photo.
Patty Ortiz, who has helmed the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center as executive director since 2009, resigned today, the organization announced.
In the wake of her departure, Guadalupe's board of directors appointed Pedro Rodriguez as interim executive director, effective Monday, September 15. Rodriguez previously served as executive director for the cultural arts center from 1983 to 1998.
According to a press release, Ortiz vacated her leadership role to "pursue independent
curatorial projects and focus on her work as a visual artist."
A west side institution, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center works to cultivate, preserve and promote traditional and contemporary Latino arts and culture, operating a diverse range of community and arts initiative and programs in support of its mission. The Center is home to the Museo Guadalupe, a dance company, and art academy and hosts CineFestival and the Tejano Conjunto Festival.
When Ortiz began her tenure in 2009, Guadalupe faced harsh criticism from the community for the disuse of its facilities and eduction and fundraising failures. Under her leadership, the organization regained its prominence in the west side community and raised its visibility on local, national and international levels. The nonprofit broadened its fundraising profile, attracting grant awards from major national foundations, including Kresge and the American Alliance of Museums. Ortiz's background as a curator and artist was instrumental in attracting higher profile artists for exhibitions at the Museo Guadelupe, and she took an active leadership role in securing municipal funding for the Guadalupe Cultural Corridor street improvements project and the restoration of the Progreso Pharmacy building.
“Patty has brought tremendous talent to the Guadalupe and we are grateful for her service," said Guadalupe Board Chair Claudia Castillo Gonzalez in a statement. "We accept her resignation with regret, but respect her desire to pursue her passions."
Remarking on Rodriguez's return to the role in the interim, Gonzalez said Rodriguez's lengthy experience and passion for community-based arts were vital as Guadalupe weathers this period of leadership transition. He will remain in the world while the board undergoes a national search for a new executive director.