Sewell to advance Museum’s culture of belonging and community outreach strategy
Special to The Truth
Rhonda Sewell was selected as the Toledo Museum of Art’s first director of belonging & community engagement, a role that will report to the Museum’s director. Her appointment started on Monday, April 26.
“Rhonda brings a wealth of talent and experience to this role,” said Adam Levine, the Museum’s Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey director and CEO. “She is a leader who is passionate about community and understands the imperative to make diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion integral to all we do at TMA. Rhonda will aid greatly in the execution of our strategic plan and help us reimagine our approach to community outreach.”
Sewell most recently served as the director of governmental and external affairs for the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, where she worked with local, state and federal legislators as well as community stakeholders in the areas of library funding, advocacy and systems change.
Prior to her 15 years at the Library, she worked 18 years as an award-winning journalist for The Blade newspaper, which included assignments in six countries. Sewell also served as an adjunct instructor in ethnic studies and mass communications at Bowling Green State University.
Sewell is a proven community leader, founding in 2012 Real Men READ-y, an ongoing mentoring and early literacy program designed for underrepresented African American boys in Kindergarten and first grade. She was recognized as a top 10 Jefferson Awards finalist for this mentorship initiative.
She is the current president-elect of The Arts Commission Board of Trustees; a member of the Board of Trustees representing Special Districts and Authorities for the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG); a member of the Community Outreach and Social Justice committee for the Toledo Opera; a cabinet member and donor of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio; and she previously served on numerous key corporate boards, including a maximum six-year tenure on ProMedica’s formerly titled Toledo Children’s Hospital Foundation Board, where she served as chair.
Sewell also served on the boards of the YWCA of Northwest Ohio, the American Heart Association, Toledo Ballet and the Art Tatum African American Resource Center, among others. A self-described servant leader, Sewell also stays deeply engaged with the community through her active membership in various leading women’s service organizations.
“My new Toledo Museum of Art role in belonging and community engagement is a career capstone position embodying all that I believe in and stand for. Working for such an important, historic, anchor institution is an honor and an opportunity to include everyone related to the Museum, and in our community, in transformational change and impactful growth,” said Sewell.
Sewell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Michigan State University; she also completed Graduate Studies in International Journalism at the City University of London in England.