“Let’s Talk Opera” is a conversational series designed to give diverse audiences an opportunity to learn about, appreciate and discuss Opera and art. The series aims to create dialogues on a spectrum of topics affecting the arts community ranging from sustainability, equality and dismantling elitist practices in the field.
We would like to welcome you to an in-person conversation with Marica Sells, Chief Diversity Officer for the Metropolitan Opera and Dr. Victoria Ramirez, Executive Director of the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts. In this conversation, Mrs. Sells and Ramirez will discuss the following topics:
· How to build sustainable community centric arts organizations
· Women and Leadership in the Arts
· The importance of Diversity, Inclusion and Equality in the Arts
Marcia Sells became the first Chief Diversity Officer for the Metropolitan Opera in 2021 and was charged with moving the Met Opera’s diversity equity and inclusion programming across multiple departments. Marcia has held positions in the private and public sector including: Dance Theatre of Harlem, Reuters America, the National Basketball Association, Dean of Students at Columbia University School of Law, Harvard Law, and Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.
Predating her career as a lawyer and in academia, she began her life in New York City over 40 years ago, working for late-Arthur Mitchell co-founder of Dance Theatre of Harlem. She performed in many ballets with the company and in “Dance in America”, and stages around the world. When she retired from ballet, Marcia earned a BA from Barnard College and her JD from Columbia University School of Law.
Dr. Victoria Ramirez
Dr. Victoria Ramirez began her tenure with the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts (AMFA) in 2019 and is leading the institution’s next chapter of transformation and the opening of the new building in Little Rock’s MacArthur Park. Dr. Ramirez has over 25 years of experience, serving as Director of the El Paso Museum of Art and the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. Prior, she worked in art museum education at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, finding joy in teaching children and adults art history and appreciation. Dr. Ramirez is leading the reshaping of AMFA to expand exhibitions and programming to reach new audiences while honoring
the legacy of more than 85 years of celebrating the visual and performing arts.