MISSION—Mission Historical Museum Director Luis Contreras has been named to the Texas Association of Museums Board effective March 1. The organization is a nonprofit that supports professionals working in Texas museums, historic sites, arts organizations and other cultural and community organizations.
“I have known Luis Contreras since he entered the field and have watched with interest the development of his career,” Ruth Ann Rugg, executive director of Texas Association of Museums, said. “From the beginning he exhibited a practical understanding of community engagement and has worked tirelessly to weave museums in the fabric of his own community.”
Contreras began his museum field experience with the City of Mission in 2006 when he worked as the archivist/curator for the Mission Historical Museum. In 2008, he became the executive director of the Weslaco Museum of Local History and Cultural Art.
Since 2006, Contreras has also been involved with the University of Texas-Pan American and South Texas College as an arts instructor. In August 2012, he returned to the City of Mission as director of the Mission Historical Museum where he manages two facilities and supervises the daily operations, while implementing the strategic plans set forth by the museum’s board of directors.
“I am both honored and humbled to join the Texas Association of Museum’s Board of Directors,” Contreras said. “I am a huge advocate for what TAM believes. Their mission to strengthen the museum community is well braced by the abundance of opportunities they provide in order to nurture and train museum leaders.”
The director strives to stay actively involved in city and community beautification initiatives. He recently served as project manager for the Mission Historical Museum’s landscape renovation project, which was realized in summer 2013.
“I am excited to bring his passion and leadership skills to the state level on the Council of Texas Association of Museums,” Rugg said. “Luis will be and outstanding representative for Museums in South Texas.”
Contreras explained this is not only an honor for himself, but will also shed light on the City of Mission.
“I get to represent the city on a state board,” Contreras said. “It does shine a light on the historical museum because I think we are going through a phenomenal wave of changes. It will definitely be something positive for both the historical museum and the City of Mission.”
Currently, Contreras is working on projects that involve a historical and cultural collaboration with a city streetscape renovation project and an exhibit/museum design for the historical John H. Shary mansion in Palmhurst.