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Janice Sykes-Ross has been named the new executive director of the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance/Paul Robeson House & Museum (WPCA).

Sykes-Ross officially assumed the role this month, taking over from Vernoca L. Michael, who has overseen operation of the WPCA for the past four years. Sykes-Ross will build on the foundation set by Michael and founder Frances P. Aulston.

"It is a pleasure to have selected Janice as our new executive to take WPCA into its next phase of prominence," said Michael. " As a result of persistence and perseverance, our WPCA team has secured several major grants which will allow the organization to move to a new level."

After a national search, the WPCA selected not only a well-qualified candidate but also a curator-at-heart. She was most recently director of the American Women's Heritage Society/The Historic Belmont Mansion Underground Railroad Museum in Philadelphia.

"It is not only an honor but also a privilege to lead the Paul Robeson House & Museum," said Sykes-Ross. "The WPCA, an organization formed to satisfy the city's need for more cultural institutions in its neighborhoods, has been a pillar of the West Philadelphia community for almost 40 years."

The new position is funded through a generous grant from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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