Maria Munoz-Blanco has been appointed as the city's director of Division of Parks and Neighborhoods, Mayor Jim Strickland announced on Thursday afternoon.
Munoz-Blanco's appointment is subject to approval by the Memphis City Council at next Tuesday's regular meeting. She formerly served as the executive director of cultural affairs at Miami-Dade College, the director of cultural affairs at the City of Dallas, and the executive director of the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and Harris County. She was chosen from more than 100 candidates who applied for the position. Former Memphis Parks and Neighborhoods Director Janet Hooks was not reappointed when Strickland took over for former Mayor A C Wharton.
“I’m proud to make this appointment, as I believe Maria is the perfect fit to lead us into the future at Parks and Neighborhoods,” Strickland said.
The Dallas News
reported in 2014 that Munoz-Blanco "often clashed with arts organizations over management and funding issues" when she was heading up Dallas' cultural affairs office.