The Montclair History Center board of trustees has appointed Angelica Diggs to be its new executive director.

Diggs, who was on the center’s staff from 2012 to 2019 in a variety of roles, has plans to continue making the center a pillar in the Montclair community, according to a news release from the center.

“We welcome Angelica back to the MHC with great fondness and excitement,” Elizabeth Hynes, president of the center’s board of trustees, said in a statement. “Her professional and educational experience, plus her creativity and in-depth knowledge of our organization, allow her to jump right in and keep us moving toward our goals. The re-interpretation and other key initiatives over the past decade significantly raised the profile of our organization locally and further afield; Angelica had a significant role in those efforts, making her well-positioned to continue our progress.”

Diggs worked closely with Jane Eliasof, the previous executive director, on such initiatives as upgrading the historic property and grounds, creating tours and events on- and off-site,  developing the MHC’s website and online programs, recruiting volunteers and interns, and sustaining and advancing the center’s goals, the news release said.

“My first steps returning to the MHC will be to work with the board and staff in updating our strategic plan,” Diggs said in a statement. “This will allow the organization to focus our efforts for the next three to five years in ways to expand our programming, explore new partnerships with the community, and delve into long-term goals.”

Among the goals she mentioned were updating the Orange Road site to meet accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act and continuing to incorporate the stories of the Glenridge Avenue YWCA into the Crane House and Historic YWCA museum.” 

The Crane House is a reinterpretation of the home that was once owned by one of the first families in Montclair and later became a safe haven for Black women in the 1900s through the nonprofit organization YWCA.  

Diggs has a master’s degree in museum management and a bachelor’s degree in English from Montclair State University. She served as assistant director of operations at the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts in Madison. 

“I’m honored to be in a position to continue to look for new and engaging ways to welcome all of our town’s residents and to preserve and share Montclair’s history,” Diggs said. “We’ll see what the next chapter will be.”