Press Release

December 6, 2016

Natalie Marsh is Scottsdale Arts’ new director of education and outreach.

(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) Scottsdale Arts has hired two new staff members: Natalie Marsh has joined the organization as its director of education and outreach, and Jennifer McCabe as curator of contemporary art at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA). Both started their new roles this fall.

Natalie Marsh brings extensive experience as an arts educator and advocate to Scottsdale Arts, where she will lead education and outreach efforts for its three divisions: Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, SMoCA and Scottsdale Public Art. The new position represents a key goal of the organization’s strategic plan, which calls for centralizing and strengthening Scottsdale Arts’ diverse educational programming in the performing and visual arts, which reaches more than 40,000 participants of all ages and backgrounds annually.

Marsh most recently served as manager of education and outreach for Calgary’s National Music Centre (NMC), Canada’s newest national cultural organization, where she played a significant role in the facility’s opening and increased the demographics and reach of its programs. Among her duties, Marsh led NMC’s national education mandate to reach learners across Canada through remote, online and traveling education classes and exhibitions.

Marsh also previously served as education and facilities supervisor for The City of Calgary Parks and as school education and distance-learning coordinator for Calgary’s Glenbow Museum, western Canada’s largest museum. She earned her B.F.A. with K–12 education certification from Eastern Michigan University and is currently completing her M.A. in museum studies at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

“Education and outreach are essential to the mission of Scottsdale Arts,” remarked President and CEO Neale Perl. “Natalie’s broad experience in arts education and commitment to diversity, collaboration and building community-based partnerships will be great assets to our organization as we grow these important initiatives.”

Jennifer McCabe is SMoCA’s new curator of contemporary art.

Jennifer McCabe brings an extensive background in contemporary art, education and museum practice to SMoCA. She previously served as executive director and chief curator of the Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco, where she developed the institution’s contemporary art program through funding from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. She also held the position of assistant director and development director at the nonprofit New Langton Arts in San Francisco, and has had a successful career as an independent curator.

From emerging artists to mid-career surveys featuring new commissions, public programs and large-scale group shows, McCabe has worked with a wide range of artists, including Randy Colosky, Kota Ezawa, Harrell Fletcher, Maximo Gonzalez, Christina Kim, Tony Labat, Nate Lowman, Clare Rojas, Eduardo Sarabia, Frances Stark, Adrian Paci and Pae White. During her tenure at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art, she developed, launched and sustained a nationally recognized public program titled Craft Bar that engaged the institution’s most diverse audiences to date.

Additionally, McCabe has taught modern and contemporary art at Arizona State University, San Francisco State University, Mills College and City College of San Francisco. Her published works have appeared in numerous artist catalogs and art journals, including FiberArts MagazineThe Present Group and Panorama Journal. McCabe is currently a Ph.D. candidate in art history at Arizona State University with a focus on feminist art and public practice. She earned her M.A. in art history from San Francisco State University and B.F.A. in photography from ASU.

“I am delighted to welcome Jennifer to SMoCA,” remarked Director and Chief Curator Sara Cochran. “She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our institution, and her voice is an exciting and significant addition to our staff. We all look forward to working with her.”

Through its dynamic partnership with the City of Scottsdale, the nonprofit Scottsdale Arts (formerly known as Scottsdale Cultural Council) creates diverse, inspired arts experiences and educational and outreach opportunities for the community, while fostering the active engagement of individuals, businesses, education and government with the arts. Since its founding in 1987, Scottsdale Arts has grown into a regionally and nationally significant, multi-disciplinary arts organization offering an exceptional variety of programs through three acclaimed operating divisions – Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) and Scottsdale Public Art – serving more than 375,000 participants annually.

Founded in 1999, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) explores the best of contemporary art, architecture and design. Global in its focus, the Museum is a unique and vital cultural resource for the Southwest, serving local audiences as well as visitors from the United States and abroad. Designed by award-winning architect Will Bruder, SMoCA’s minimalist building (an ingenious renovation of a former movie theater) has four galleries for showcasing changing exhibitions and works from the Museum’s collection, along with SMoCA Lounge, a living, functional art installation and space for community engagement. The Museum presents a wide variety of educational programs and special events for adults and families, including lectures, readings, performances, docent-led tours, workshops and classes. SMoCA also features an outdoor sculpture garden housing James Turrell’s Knight Rise, one of the renowned artist’s public skyspaces, and Scrim Wall, a monumental curtain of translucent glass panels by James Carpenter Design Associates. The Museum’s retail store, Shop@SMoCA, offers classic design objects and furnishings, contemporary jewelry, art and architecture books and imaginative gifts for all occasions.