Executive Director, The Virginia African American Cultural Center
Tamar Smithers is a professional actress, vocalist, arts leader, and educator. She is an avid arts advocate with over fifteen years of experience in the not-for-profit sector with a special focus on museums, higher education, and cultural institutions. As Executive Director for The Virginia African American Cultural Center (VAACC), she is responsible for overseeing the administration, fundraising, programming development and implementation, and overall strategic plan of the organization. In this role, she is dedicated to community relationship building and audience development/engagement.
Prior to joining the VAACC, Tamar served as the founding Senior Director of Education for the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) in Nashville, TN where she was instrumental in creating culturally specific programs and curricula for students of all ages. Tamar has served as Secretary for the Eastern Great Lakes chapter of the National Guild for Community Arts Education, and currently serves on the Association of African American Museums (AAAM) Membership Committee. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and a member of Lambda Kappa Mu Sorority, Inc., a business and professional organization.
Tamar holds a BFA in Acting from Syracuse University, a M.S. in Arts Administration and a C.A.S. in Higher Education Leadership from Le Moyne College. She is also a current EMBA Candidate in the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. A community minded person with a true passion for mentoring and being a positive role model for our youth, Tamar encourages young people to believe that no matter what their circumstances may be, if they continue to pursue their dreams, anything is possible!