Milwaukee, WI – April 26, 2022  Milwaukee’s Charles Allis and Villa Terrace Art Museums (CAVT) announce the hiring of Jaymee Harvey Willms as the organization’s new Executive Director. Harvey Willms, a lifelong resident of Wisconsin, gained extensive non-profit management experience as the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County and, prior to that, as a Unit Director for the Boys and Girls Club of Washington County. Harvey Willms is also an artist and adjunct instructor for the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. 

During her tenure with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Harvey Willms is credited with growing the agency’s individual giving revenues, strengthening the organization’s community ties, developing a sustaining grants program that included both local and federal funding and developing financial systems that forecast and planned for future needs. 

“I am thrilled to be joining an organization that has a focus on history and the culture of Milwaukee,” said Harvey Willms. “I am looking forward to working with the community and the CAVT team to bring more art, more culture and more events to Milwaukee. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve in this role and thankful to the CAVT Board of Directors for their support.”

Harvey Willms will be replacing Interim Executive Director Neil Albrecht, who was hired in July 2021 to rebuild the museum’s operational infrastructure following the significant financial impact of the COVID pandemic. Albrecht is credited with securing over $100,000 in new private sector funding, increasing the museum’s cash reserves and presenting a robust 2022 schedule of exhibitions that included: Dressing the Abbey (through May 30, 2022) and Ghosts of Segregation (July 28 – December 4, 2022) at the Charles Allis and In the Park with Olmsted – A Vision for Milwaukee presented by the Friends of Villa Terrace (through September 25, 2022) and Grounded (October 27 – March 5, 2023) at Villa Terrace. 

“It has been an amazing experience to lead these Milwaukee County arts and culture institutions out of the pandemic and launch exhibitions and programming that bring people from all over the state to these two beautiful, historic museums,” said Albrecht. “I’m very grateful to the CAVT Board of Directors for presenting me with this opportunity, to our members, the individual donors, the private foundations and the corporate supporters that came forward at such a critical moment, and to the museum staff for their tremendous dedication and support.”  

CAVT Board President Anthony “AJ” Johnson describes Albrecht’s tenure as a “game changer” for the museums and expresses complete confidence in Harvey Willms’ abilities to continue the museum’s path forward. “The board was incredibly impressed by Jaymee’s qualifications, her enthusiasm and her perspective on the important role these two museums can play in contributing to a vibrant, inclusive arts community in Milwaukee,” said Johnson.

Harvey Willms will start at the museums on May 16, 2022.  Photo available upon request.

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