Local historian, community activist, and arts enthusiast Duane Lucia has been appointed as executive director of The West End Museum. Lucia served in this role from 2012 into 2015, and briefly as President of the Museum Board of Directors. He later moved to New Jersey part-time to work on a number of art projects, but remained active as a board member. Lucia has since returned to Boston and, when the director’s post opened, stepped in with the board’s approval. He replaces Susan Hanson, who served from July 2015 through December 2018.
“I’m happy to be back in the West End and excited to take the helm of the Museum once again. The board and I extend our sincere thanks to Susan [Hanson] for all the time and effort she invested as director for the past three-plus years,” said Lucia.
As a history scholar and a modern-day West End resident, Lucia has a unique perspective on the community as it was before urban renewal and as it is today.
“I’m fascinated by this area and its storied past. Plus, my kids grew up here, and now my grandchildren are growing up here on the banks of the Charles River and next to the Boston Garden,” he said. “I’d like to continue forging a connection between the past, former West Enders, and the current residents.”
Lucia has long been an advocate for the neighborhood and the Boston arts scene. He is a co-founder of the West End Community Center and West End Children’s Festival, and has served as President of the West End Civic Association. He also co-founded Gallery East, an avant-garde art and performance space in Boston’s Leather District (now a virtual site online at Gallery East Network).
“I think the next level for The West End Museum is to present more sophisticated programming and exhibitions. I’m proud of those we’ve done at the Museum over the years, but now I want to explore the interface of art and historical storytelling,” said Lucia. As executive director, Lucia will be the public face of the Museum with members, denizens, partners, and the all-volunteer staff, as well as with the public at large. He hopes to further invigorate programming and boost visitor numbers with the more frequent rotation of exhibits and program offerings, while also advancing fundraising efforts to ensure the Museum’s future.