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After Shepherding Transformation At The North Carolina Museum of Art, Larry Wheeler Hangs His Hat

Nick Pironio
NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
Larry Wheeler brought energy and innovation to what was a financially struggling institution. He retires this month after 24 years with the North Carolina Museum of Art.
The greatest gesture of cultural chutzpah in the history of the United States [was] for these conservative legislators [to] appropriate a million dollars to begin collecting art for the people of the state.

After nearly a quarter of a century leading the North Carolina Museum of Art,Larry Wheeler is stepping down. During his tenure as director, Wheeler ushered in major changes including launching a popular outdoor concert series, building the light-filled West Building and doubling the museum’s staff. He also made the museum a place to meet and mingle beyond the gallery walls.


Maybe it's because I was not exposed to the arts very much as a child that I believe so fervently in them for everybody now.

Wheeler joins host Frank Stasio to share stories about chasing down important art acquisitions, navigating funding challenges, and his overall dreams for the site. Wheeler is replaced by Valerie Hillings, a Duke alumnus who previously worked for the Guggenheim Museum and Foundation.

Laura Pellicer is a digital reporter with WUNC’s small but intrepid digital news team.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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