Hopkins chose Amanda Birnstengel from among 54 candidates for the art center’s director position.
Birnstengel comes to Hopkins after spending four-and-a-half years with the Musical Instrument Museum, which opened April 24.
“It was a great project to be involved in,” she said. “I like to think of it as my third child.”
Although not an artist herself, Birnstengel has extensive experience working in the arts. She worked at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts before working at the Musical Instrument Museum. Birnstengel said she believes art can impact a community, “really almost on a spiritual level.
“It’s really important in our troubled times for people to have the arts to turn to,” she said.
Birnstengel's position is a new one created after Hopkins Facilities Director Jay Strachota was tapped as superintendent of streets and parks. Instead of overseeing multiple facilities as Strachota did under the previous arrangement, the new job focuses exclusively on the arts center.
Birnstengel will officially start work Tuesday.
Check back with Hopkins Patch next week for a full conversation with Birnstengel.